Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, 'Where the Messengers Meet' (Dead Oceans)

6
Where the Messengers Meet
Critical Mass
Label: Dead Oceans

by Spencer Kornhaber

Opener "At Night" finds this indie-rock quartet gazing over a dusky swamp from their front porch, repeating elliptical lyrics and blues-guitar grunts with escalating gusto as if they're repeatedly trying to strike a match. For the rest of this second album, the diverse clan (including a married couple and a 15-year-old drummer) wander in thistly darkness, laying down dour, bustling arrangements. Sad-eyed generalists with a knack for cinematic spookiness, they aspire to Wolf Parade's adventurousness, but often descend into lumbering, Interpol-style self-seriousness.

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