Michigan’s post-rock Duo return with a follow-up to 2020’s excellent “Embolism”. The difficult second album? In this case no. XI follows a similar path to its predecessor but is no rethreading of the same needle. This album owes as much to space around the performers as it does to the music itself. There is a confidence to the sound, a stark simplicity that draws the listener in to then be taken aback by the moments of dark power. The recording process simplified some elements such as the drum tracks, allowing greater freedom and expression when these guys get this out on the road as much as it generates a mildly hypnotic quality.
The lead release “Idle Eyes” is a great example of what they’ve achieved through this trimming back of the excess; it simmers and stalks its way to crash that is not foreshadowed by a big drum fill or guitar stabs and is all the better for it. “December” features an appearance by the Butthole Surfer JD Pinkus on bass, and is a mesmerizing Mogwai-tinged slow-burner. T his is a fine sophomore album, and the duo are already talking of a much heavier tone for their third (as yet untitled) full-length release.
a great example of what they've achieved through this trimming back of the excess
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