Ester Drang Rocinate

Although this album has been ready to go for a while, it was deemed by the mucky-mucks to only see release now, and really, it doesn’t make a lick of sense, as this shimmery, confident slab of electro-infused pop rock might just have had the legs to stand out. There’s still a definite shoegazer influence to Ester Drang’s sensibility, but the big change here is the predominance of beats. Whether they’re driving the song or just adding some counterpoint to the predominant guitar melody, there always seems to be an electronic backing. Look to the opener "Come Back Alive” for the best example of the melding Ester Drang are working with here, while "Caledonia” showcases the other extreme, where electronics take over the whole thing. While the song works, it sticks out a bit too much since electronics here are mostly used to accentuate, not dominate. But, luckily, everything works beautifully on "Everyone is a Victim” and "White Lies.” Incredibly, Ester Drang don’t seem to have any hesitancy about the new sonic twist and this confidence makes Rocinate a quick and heart-warming listen. (Jade Tree)