Melody Unit Choose Your Own Adventure

Hailing from Seattle, the Melody Unit is helping to shake off the last remnants of that city’s musical past. They’ve moved a little further down the road from their shoe gazing debut, Odds Against Tomorrow, and while Choose Your Own Adventure does retain a certain amount of that spaced-out feel, the songs are much more cohesive and well-formed than any of their previous work. Things start off magnificently with the epic "Suite For Caesar‚” and that momentum is upheld through such highlights as the apparently mandatory Stereolab-esque track "Prepare The Juggernaut” and the very pretty "Snoqualmie.” It makes for a well-rounded album that doesn’t drag its heels until the shortest track rears its head, but seeing that "Nine” is over in less than two minutes, you won’t even notice how it breaks up the flow of the album. The vocal interactions between Kevin Kelly and Jessica Folsom are the main attraction here, as they play off each other in a truly engaging way that is somewhat reminiscent of Yo La Tengo. And when nestled in the midst of a sea of guitars and keyboards, the end result is really rather splendid. Choose Your Own Adventure is a warm hug of an album that quietly reassures and never begs for the attention that it will inevitably receive. Instead, it wins you over with its mesmerising sound of a young band finding their feet. (Hidden Agenda)