Remaindermen - Border States
'Border States' might be the first excursion for the Remaindermen, but it't not the first rodeo for many of them. Previously releasing debut EP 'Everyone Here Looks Familiar' in 2005 and full-length 'Bury It To Dig It Up' in 2008 as Trio in Stereo, they used to make ambient instrumental music, what they describe as 'droning atmospherics'.
But the assessment of their new sound is not what I'd call 'clean, crisp harmonics'. The very opposite - the soundscape of 'Border States' is hazy, out of focus, and if I'm honest, a little droning. They have moved in psych-pop territory now, as tracks like 'The Bag' illustrate. But rather than stimulating impressive thought patterns it's just lo-fi trippy - difficult to pay attention to for any length of time. By contrast, the energetic (relatively-speaking) 'Miami St.' is a pleasant refrain from the incessant airiness. It puts more emphasis on pop sound, and albeit a little disjointed, it's very listenable.
This feels more like a collection of trips than a record, really. It sort of pulls you along until the songs hit a stationary break, very suddenly, only to begin pulling again at an unexpected moment in a random direction. But when you get to the end you feel less like you've been on a journey of exploration across an expansive psychedelic landscape and more like you've been dragged around a white, empty room by a stoned friend. It has it's high points but at times you wonder if they're worth waiting for.
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