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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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On each of their prior two albums, Scottish beard-rock quartet Aereogramme have been a tough nut to crack, not least of all for the fact that their records have, seemingly, been pitched at entirely the wrong crowd. Released on Chemikal Underground in the UK and on Matador in the U.S., the combo have been belting out their unique take on power-balladics to a bunch of hipsters, none of whom — predictably — have quite been smitten by a band whose metal-esque overtures slip from mournful post-rock moodiness to balls-out black-metal screech, all recorded with a symphonic sheen that makes their closest allies in the new not-really-metal-metal sweepstakes Sigur Rós. Like the Icelandic wallpaperists, Aereogramme's prog-ish spirit, symphonic flounce, and unrestrained grandiosity would play much better to the long-hair'd crowds who've likely never heard of them; and Seclusion defiantly proves it. Frontman Craig B has complained of having a cold on each of their previous recordings, yet I have no idea whether it was clear or clogged sinuses at play this time around, with his sinuous voice sounding more nasal and sneering than ever, almost Placebo-esque on opening cut Inkwell. It's a fairly non-dynamic-contrast-in-volume opening to this latest disc, one which finds B's irregular un-emo angst taken to more grand degrees than previous. The set is punctuated by "The Unravelling," an 11-minute song in which Iain Cook's flickering programming leads the band on an upward path, which escalates with stabbing strings and squalling guitars until peaking at a discordant climax at about seven minutes in. From there, the song reinvents itself over, female vocals littering tiny cryings around a mournful middle, then soon stretches out into the lurching, dirty bass that staggers to an epic/neo-prog-rockin' close that Tool would be proud of. Later, they stick a knife through the hearts of any indie-kids who might still be along for the ride by covering the Flaming Lips' "Lightning Strikes the Postman" in a fashion recalling eggbeater hair and dry ice, topped of with a nimble-fingered, fret-warping guitar solo. At this point — of both the disc and the discography — Aereogramme may still be confusing to many (maybe more than ever), but, really, their particular, peculiar aesthetic is just becoming clearer.

by Anthony Carew

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