Sunset Rubdown

Don't dismiss Sunset Rubdown as a side project to Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes. Lead singer Spencer Krug's other two bands are better known among the indie-rock cognoscenti, but if Shut Up I Am Dreaming, Sunset's latest effort, is any indication, Krug thinks it should be the other way around. While Shut Up has a basement-recording ambience to it, the arrangements are complex yet accessible, and they complement Krug's, well, complex yet accessible lyrics. Side projects always aren't so cohesive in theme: Recurring lyrical references to snakes, water, death and other biblical matter point to some spiritual struggle, as screaming synths, mournful or triumphant guitars and herky-jerky beats vie for attention with Krug's singing (which is at times is annoyingly emotional and Bowie-esque but usually suits the music). It's the kind of sonic motif that would get old were it not so appropriate for this triumph of an album.

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