Monday, December 17, 2012

03. Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance (Kranky)

 Deerhunter is one of the most fascinating bands going because they're a democracy functioning the way most of us experience democracy, whether in politics or the workplace: fully participatory, but with a wildly disproportionate power structure. With Bradford Cox fronting the group as one of rock's most dominant personalities, it's easy to view Lockett Pundt as following in the lineage of reclusive guitar wizards who serve as a necessary counterbalance.  Whether or not Cox goes off the grid any given night, you can catch Pundt standing catatonically still and staring off into the distance when his gaze isn't intently focused on an armada of effects pedals.

Based on that persona, no one could've been surprised by his solo bow as Lotus Plaza, 2009's The Floodlight Collective. A mélange of looped guitar and amorphous vocals slathered in amniotic goo, it wouldn't have stood out in any year, and released smack dab in the midst of indie's deadbeat summer, it was the kind of solo record that could only be the result of a guy who goes to the greatest lengths possible to not get noticed. But even if he gets approximately 0% of the good quotes in any Deerhunter interview, the relatively egalitarian division of the band's songwriting labor makes Spooky Action At A Distance every bit as unsurprising as its predecessor. In an infinitely more rewarding way, of course: save for a minute-long intro that recalls Floodlight, these are nine reminders that Pundt also is responsible for soft-focus beauty of "Agoraphobia", "Neither of Us, Uncertainly", and the juggernaut centerpiece of Halcyon Digest, "Desire Lines". This consistency means Spooky Action lacks the galvanizing force of Deerhunter and the unpredictability of Atlas Sound, but in fully realizing its comparatively modest ambitions, it's one of the strongest indie rock records of the year so far.

via Pitchfork (read the rest there)

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