Ladybug Transistor The Ladybug Transistor

After releasing a disappointing fourth album in 2001, the Ladybug Transistor are thinking outside the box and have redefined their sound, again. Recorded at Wavelab in Arizona, instead of their usual home studio, Marlborough Farms, the band have sought other influences to inspire this self-titled album. Roping in Craig Schumacher (Neko Case, Giant Sand, Calexico) as engineer, along with Lambchop members Dennis Cronin and Paul Niehaus (also in Calexico) to help build a new sound, the band have sidelined their Bacharach tributes and classic ’60s pop sounds for something a little more down home. Though it’s not a complete redirection, the alt-country overtones (lonesome organ, pedal steel guitar, acoustic finger pickin’) take over in some spots. "Splendor in the Grass” borrows heavily from a crash course in Gram Parsons 101, while "A Burial At Sea” sounds like Buffalo Springfield jamming on a Sunday morning in Tennessee. Not quite as successful as the Byrds foray into country rock with Sweetheart of the Rodeo, this Western attempt by the Ladybug Transistor has some graceful and exquisite moments that should not be ignored. (Merge)