Centaur In Streams

If Centaur's quiet/loud guitar dynamics sound familiar, it's because head Centaur Mark Talbot used to be one of the pyrotechnicians in Hum. Other than a radio hit with "Stars," the band never really stepped out of the shadows cast by the Smashing Pumpkins. Centaur, a trio, is a calmer beast, but given to occasional widescreen moments. Keith Cleversley, who also produced Hum, lets the absence of a second guitarist stand, concentrating instead on the atmospheres the extra space provides. Talbot's talking/singing vocals are nearly horizontal in their flatness, yet they occupy so little space in the epic scale of each song that they're easy to overlook To adapt a phrase: those who liked Hum will like this a lot. (Parasol)