The world of indie rock is a vast jungle of bands that sound a lot alike. As a result, newcomers often go to great lengths to differentiate themselves. Some incorporate instruments others do not, while others become specialized at one particular aspect of the genre. With their album Draw a Distance. Draw a Border, Winnipeg-based The Details make an effort to seem different by performing longer songs. It doesn’t go well.
For a four-piece, The Details manage to craft some interesting songs. They waver between playing generic indie rock and pretending to be Dashboard Confessional. Fans of Dashboard may be thrilled with the idea, but The Details don’t quite yet have the chops to complete the metamorphosis. The six-minute tracks that anchor the album don’t represent it well: “I Asked What We Should Do, You Said ‘I Don’t Want To Think’” is as long and pointless as its title, while “A National Anthem” is much longer than it needs to be. The Details excel in cranking out danceable three-minute songs, best represented by “Hit Parade.” When the songs get longer, they seem as if they were written for three minutes and then stretched to last fill the time.
The Details make a great effort to stand out with their latest album and the results are mixed. When they stick to their element, they are a fun band to listen to. Their
longer songs come across as stretched. The Details don’t make themselves any different from the crowd of indie-rock groups, but they haven’t completely embarrassed themselves either.