ALTAIRA: Weigh Your Conscience: 7-song CD

Although, yes, you could make a very convincing argument that Altaira cribbed the game plan of Hot Water Music’s Forever and Counting and have looted some from Tiltwheel’s basement, I still think they’re mighty good. (Translation: burlap vocals, the bass, guitars, and drums all have to work hard, and it’s all very personal without resorting to personal attacks or boo hoo-athons.) Altaira have got a natural feel of song weight and dynamics: not one instrument dominates, the vocals snarl when they have to, and the playing goes from epic to atmospheric to anthemic without the acrid smell of a band using the musical clutch for the first time and doing that horrid whisper to scream to whisper bullshit. Besides all that, these seven songs are genuinely catchy, take time to breathe, sound heartfelt, and although well played by each member, aren’t a wankfest. Thumbs up.

 –todd (Attention Deficit Disorder)