Monday, November 13, 2006

General Cheese Grater Moxie

It's not rare to get the feeling that the kids over at Pitchfork are doing their best to carry on the legacy of Robert Christgau (meaning, the legacy of writing paragraph-long sentences that appear to be composed of words randomly chosen from a hat). Granted, I'm rapidly aging, so I need those kids, from time to time, to keep up with what's going on out there. But really. In just over 400 words (which makes this kind of impressive, really), today's review of a band called Annuals manages to unleash these three brain-melters:
The disco-waltz "Complete or Completing" submerges into a Steely Dan tide, then locks into a chant-groove that is triumphantly resumed on album closer "Sway", which dips the last few years of indie-rock's most-soiled dishes into a Ladysmith Black Mambazo rinse.

"Brother" is the album's riotous, massive standout, but almost everything's impressive: The purposeful shuffle of "Mama", the blurping bits of "Ida, My" that are as biomechanical as H.R. Giger's alien design, the general unforcedness, the open-air funhouse moxie, etc.

Even as these songs synthesize tones I thought I might never hear together-- those of Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Sea & Cake, and Ipecac's roster-- without licking Mars Volta's cheese grater, they ultimately upstage themselves.
I don't know if this review makes me want to buy the album, but it certainly produces a craving for Aspirin.


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