Rahim Laughter

Texture is at the root of all that is good with Laughter, Rahim’s third album. These New Yorkers smooth out the tics inherent in the jittery post-punk outfits they were raised on — the Talking Heads appear to be chief among them — and, accomplished players that they are, add their own idiosyncratic wrinkles. The songs aren’t particularly memorable for their melodies or themes but rather the engaging dialogue between instruments: a skittery beat meeting a wayward guitar riff, the calculated timing of a slithering bass line, how a synth wash changes the tint of a song. While there is much to be said for Rahim’s efforts, the LP is almost too much texture, lacking a meaty enough core to hold it all together. Repeated listens to Laughter have yielded the same conclusion: there are a ton of cool parts but I’ll be damned if I remember what the album actually sounds like. (Pretty Activity)