John Solomon of Communist Daughter

Photo by Pamela Diedrich

Though a sizable chunk of Twin Cities indie rock fans were packed into the sold-out Spoon show up the block at First Avenue Friday night, Communist Daughter didn’t have any trouble assembling an exceedingly healthy team of fans at The Fine Line to help them celebrate the release of their debut album, Soundtrack to the End.

It didn’t hurt that the local support bill was top notch, including the tight and catchy Brit-pop machine The Arms Akimbo and hook-laden Idle Hands. In between sets, local dance duo Estate spun tracks, so the energy never let up.

For Communist Daughter, this was a bit of a coming out party, despite the fact that in various configurations the band has been playing many these songs around town for nearly two years. In my opinion, Soundtrack to the End contains many of the best songs band leader John Solomon has ever written, and the disc has garnered well-deserved local and national attention in the weeks leading up to its released on Grain Belt Records, a label which also counts Red Pens and Brad Senne on its roster.

Many of the songs on the record can a bit of a downer when you listen closely to the evocative lyrics, but they’re the kind of downer that is ultimately uplifting as the stories they tell are those of a man who has seen the bottom of the well but is aware he has the strength to climb out of it. “Not the Kid,” and “Oceans,” to name just two, are darkish, reflective pop gems that will get stuck in your head all day and still be there in the morning when you wake up.

Friday night, in addition to the tracks from the new record, the band managed to weave the Hold Steady song, “Knuckles” seamlessly into their set. (Fans of Solomon’s previous band, Friends Like These, will recall the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn contributed vocals to the band’s memorable single, “7th Street Queen”.)

HowWasTheShow photographer Pamela Goetzke Diedrich was in the front row at the Fine Line CD Release show and got this close-up of John Solomon during one of the band’s moodier numbers. You can check out Pamela’s photo set of the entire show here.

[Mining the HowWasTheShow archives, it’s interesting to note that John Solomon was HowWasTheShow’s Photo of the Week once before, the very first POTW more than six years ago, on January 31st, 2004 at the 400 Bar with Friends Like These.)

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