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The songs on Video Games & Popsicle Sticks recall a time before non-mainstream music was splintered off into increasingly hermetic subgenres. Fuzzed-out melodic guitar over insistent rhythms and dark undertones grace each track like cuts from a secret collaboration between Throwing Muses and Band of Susans. A hint of garage rock haunts the outer edges of most of these songs, but so does a stirring intensity reminiscent of Talk About the Weather-era Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. However, Aimée's Kristin Hersh-like vocals bring an immediacy and warmth that humanizes the music and serves as a counterpoint to the jagged guitar tones. In another era, this would have been called an experimental rock album, but in this day and age, it's simply a refreshing oddity with no obvious connection to current trends.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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