Dungen Tio Bitar

Tio Bitar starts out with a blast of hard psych rock but quickly winds down into ambient guitar feedback and distant flutes. Unlike 2004’s lacks the punchy, slightly eccentric pop songs that garnered the band so much affectionate praise. What Dungen are getting better at, however, is creating a mood. While their last album dissolved after a few great tracks, Tio Bitar remains pleasant and pretty to the end, slipping only when the band attempt to recreate the catchy rock numbers they made before. Dungen are often pegged as psych rock but much of this album sounds like an oddly appropriate hybrid of folk and jazzy lounge pop — the band have successfully combined a number of disparate ideas. A good portion of the tracks are upbeat but they can’t compete with the hits that kicked off Ta Det Lungt, and they’re nowhere near as good as the mellow, nuanced ones that songwriter Gustav Ejstes has put more of his heart into on this album. Though Tio Bitar is a little lopsided (it might have sounded better had Ejstes cut out the rock’n’roll tracks altogether), its best moments are beautiful. (Kemado)