Zelienople Give it Up

On their second Type Records release, this Chicago trio continue to work on a soundtrack for sleepwalking through unstable landscapes. There is an urgency, or perhaps tension, that comes from the imminence in Matt Christensen's vocals, which drift in and out of half-lit passages. A corrosion of tonal echo, receding percussion and Möbius strip guitar create an enclosure for the songs to require an escape route. On standout "All I Want is Calm," the cyclical instruments and disquiet confound the narrator's titular plea. It's a kitchen sink malaise similar to Dean Roberts or a downtrodden Scott Walker that occasionally drops into the detached coolness of the earliest Labradford. What keeps it all from becoming too uneasy of a listening experience is the group's well-timed moments of shallow breathtaking and predawn illumination. "Little Little Eye-Full" is an oasis of rumbling drones, creaking cymbals and a guitar figure barely to the right of inscrutable. Like 2007's His/Hers, this is a cohesive song cycle that takes you along on its dimly lit ride. (Type)