Sound Bites: Ancestors, AU, the Mountain Goats, Brian Setzer Orchestra and xx
Welcome to another edition of Sound Bites, our economy-sized album reviews, wherein we give you the lowdown in 75 words or less. Today, Nick Hall weighs in on recent releases from Ancestors, AU, the Mountain Goats, Brian Setzer Orchestra and xx after the jump.
Ancestors, Of Sound Mind (Tee Pee). With its mid-tempo guitar-hero bent and pseudo-august organ fills, Ancestors sounds a bit like Built to Spill covering Iron Butterfly. That's a good thing. The aforementioned reference points are merged into arrangements that sound like they're trying to sound aged and mystical, as if the band's moniker adds a mental patina to its songwriting, and it works surprisingly well.
xx, xx (Beggars XL). xx is skeleton crew R&B inflected indie glam-pop that somehow doesn't rely on pastiche to make its point. With its hypnotic, omnipresent bass, thick, resonant guitars, lyrics that manage to be both slyly and frankly sexualized, the album seeps in slowly, rewarding repeat listens and full immersion. By the time you realize you're really digging it, you've got the damn thing memorized.
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