Pajo 1968

In his post-Slint life, David Pajo’s always followed a trajectory that’s never been predictable — even more so now that Slint seem to have shockingly resurrected themselves from a seemingly permanent vacation. This second record donning the uncomplicated surname handle, finds the underground guitar hero continuing the unassuming folk established with Papa M and fine-tuned with last year’s Pajo album, but with a few twists and turns. Recorded in a proper studio, compared to the laptop tracking on his previous effort, 1968 shows some immediate improvement in acoustics. "Who’s That Knocking” is an effortless stab at the blues, accented by a repetitive strum and some appreciated double layering of his angelic voice. Not too long after, Pajo begins to unfold his plan to spruce things up on the indolent power pop of "We Get Along, Mostly,” and then later on hires a complex drum pattern to uplift the calm cheer of "Let It Be Me.” "Cyclone Eye,” on the other hand, recruits a pseudo-orchestra for what could have been a grand ballad, but instead opts for unconventional lyrics and experimental nuances. Needless to say he knows when to avoid getting too adventurous, reverting to a straightforward instrumental or a lonesome lo-fi ditty that feels like he needed to come back to a welcome comfort zone. Already lined up to follow this with the debut recording by his indie metal outfit Dead Child, Pajo’s still obviously having fun dipping his toes in all ponds, but thankfully he’s also keeping his fans pleased with such reliable output. (Drag City)