Aqueduct Or Give Me Death

The first track off this Seattle rock one-man band’s third album, "Lying in the Bed I’ve Made,” is misleading. The syncopating drum machine, blazing synth motif and David Terry’s resonating vocals would lead one to believe we have another ’90s bedroom rock, cut-and-pasted, Shins-emulating band on our hands, one presented to us from the label of all things indie pop, Barsuk (who has brought us many wonders, including Death Cab for Cutie). Plunge into the rest of this experimental pop album and it’s easy to conclude that we are dealing with one of the most intelligent songwriters of this day and age. We’re talking on the same level as Cursive’s Tim Kasher and Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard. With less dramatics and simpler lyricism than Cursive, Aqueduct whips out muffled horn sections alongside trippy synth melodies ("Wasted Youth”) like Terry’s the first ones to invent the term "post-rock.” Piano ballads slide in wistfully beside prestigious and unforgettable, amped-up melodic rock songs and although his lyrics lack the panache needed to make these songs explode with beauty, his instrumental work toes the line elegantly. Compared to his previous work, Terry has made greater use of an electric guitar and is taking a few steps out of the bedroom that bred such comforting sounds and into the world of epic concert halls with resonating roofs and magical auras where he will find he’s very welcome. (Barsuk)