The Great Communicators, The Interpreters, The Nonbelievers
Oct 19, 1999

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Aloha holds the distinction of being the only Polyvinyl band ever to be signed based on a demo tape. In just three years, this band from Ohio created a lexicon both innovative and unparalleled: the most complex of Chicago instrumentalists melded with heartfelt songwriting, and a live set of improvisational and physical intensity. In fact, the band routinely played nonstop for the duration of their shows, without a set list, relying on cues and chemistry to transition from song to song.

On Great Communicators, Eric uses his vibrophone as a lead instrument, augmenting rhythmically and melodically, switching to synthesizer as needed. Tony's guitar melds with the vibrophone, often doubling or inverting, trading the reigns. The bass that Matthew plays is thick and red, sometimes felt and sometimes heard. And Cale's drumming is simply the one thing that makes everything possible.

On each track, the rhythm is felt, the melody shines through, and the results are crystal clear. Needless to say, we're glad we checked the mail that day.


  • 1
    The Sound Between (5:51)
  • 2
    Roanoke Born (3:38)
  • 3
    Gary's Narrator (2:07)
  • 4
    I Never Use The Shoreway (4:03)
  • 5
    Ayahuasca at Dawn (3:45)


With any luck the start of the new century will see a shift away from boring emo bands...this record will stand among those that helped raise the bar.


A pop masterpiece.


One moment diving into electronic expanses, the next offering up a sweet, lazy pop song, and then imploding into a phased, agitated jazz jam.

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