Originally a four-track recording project between guitarist Matt Oliver and bassist Bill Baird, Austin's Sound Team now rolls six deep. The additional membership gives the band a great deal of latitude with regard to sound and texture. Surprisingly, with a half-dozen instruments vying for space, there's not a wasted or overindulgent moment on Movie Monster, the group's major-label debut. The guitars snap and whirr on the pounding "Your Eyes Are Liars," while a battery of keyboards (Wurlitzer, Rhodes, and Moog) play various roles throughout, blowing haze over "Afterglow Years," providing buoyant counterpoints to "No More Birthdays" and heightening the resignation of the title track. The band has opened for the Arcade Fire and the Walkmen in the past, and both provide entry points into its music, which incorporates the emotional intensity of the former and the anthemic tendencies and raspy vocals of the latter. The album's highlight, though, is "TV Torso," which is easily the most exciting slice of indie rock since !!!'s "Me and Giuliani" (or the Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #3").
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