Radar Bros. The Fallen Leaf Pages

Emerging from his own Skylab studios like a hibernating bear, Jim Putnam and company seem to be on a record-every-three-years kick, but, hey, when the output consists of such quality recordings, the wait is worth it. Following up such a lush and career-defining album like And the Surrounding Mountains is a large task, and, luckily, the Radar Brothers come out no worse for the wear with this new album. There’s no giant leap of experimentation here, but just great, solid Radar Brothers songs that will appeal to fans of the their previous material and those with a love of off-kilter grandeur rock like Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips. "To Remember” sets the tone right with Putnam’s warble giving the perfect amount of warmth to the subtle synths, but the highlight is the appropriately titled "Dark Road Window,” with its ringing guitar strums and slight falsetto coos giving the song an apt sinister feel that warms while also giving goosebumps. Despite their absence, their stunningly consistent output is furthered by The Fallen Leaf Pages; and for those who like their music contemplative, catchy and lush, there can be no better destination than the lovely shores of California’s Radar Brothers. (Merge)