Curtains Vehicles of Travel

There’s a lot to be said for a band so willing to attempt something so autonomous, experimental and new that they’ll stubbornly stick by the results of their labour, even when it sounds like they’re doing it for the sake of their own art. Featuring members of Natural Dreamers and the much-lauded weirdo-pop outfit Deerhoof, the Curtains’ third record, Vehicles of Travel feels like a vastly epic psych art-pop record with far more stylistic aspiration than substance. In fact, a good half of its 40 minutes feels phoned-in, with a whole lot of meandering meshing together the record’s few highlights. By law of averages alone, a few of its 23 tracks are worthwhile, like the space-circus psychedelia of "Ringmaster’s Reverie,” but it’s not enough to forgive the band’s ADD-ish jump from one truncated melody to another, delivered with a hint of humour that makes the record decidedly more manageable, but not that much more enjoyable. (Frenetic)