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neumu
Friday, December 15, 2017 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Roto
recording
The Low Power Hour
Resin Records
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One of the most interesting times for music was back in the early '80s in Southern California, when alienation and disconnectedness were more common tropes than the notions of wild abandon and immersion-in-the-moment favored by rock music until post-punk came along with its wonderful and pretentious ideas about performance. Listen to "Strip Club" by 100 Flowers, for example — when you really engage with the song, the experience is so radically different from that of pumping your fist to "Smoke on the Water" that the two songs hardly seem to be from the same galaxy, though in the final analysis they're both just rock songs. So it is with The Low Power Hour, an album by a strange band consisting of a two guys named David Arbury and Carlton Ingram and a permanently floating drummer. (In the interest of disclosure: John Davis of Holiday Matinee, who did publicity for my band's last album, plays drums on three tracks here, and was probably the guy who got a copy of the record sent to me for review.) These songs are recognizably indie rock songs — post-Fugazi, post-Slint clean-guitar abstract-lyric meditations on nothing identifiable — but they chase an elusive nexus between involvement and the total lack thereof. One moment (the opening "Trickster") they're so passionate that heat seems to rise from them, and the next ("Glass") they're engaged in interesting but ultimately bloodless exercises in melodic and linguistic phraseology. Like lots of ambitious things, The Low Power Hour isn't without its hey-ouch moments — on "Wrecking Ball," one of the two singers mispronounces both "philanthropy" and "misanthropy," and regardless of whether he's doing it to make the words fit into his rhythm or because he doesn't know how to pronounce them, it's embarrassing to hear. There's a number called "Stasis" that's just plain dreadful, and one called "Time Trial" that isn't much better. But the album's brighter spots are moments of profoundly realized discomfort, marrying elegantly flowing rhythmic and melodic exercises to nervous meditations on self and other, like the pained questions peppering the softly terrifying "Pipeline": "Is this a friendship, or is it just a matter of time?" and "Can you hear me when I tell you that I'm talking to you?" I suspect that Roto will quickly shuffle off into history, but they've got at least one great album somewhere in them. The Low Power Hour isn't it, but a bracing step toward that possibility.


by John Darnielle




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