Panther, 'Entropy' (Kill Rock Stars)

Critical Mass
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by Spencer Kornhaber

Judged on ideas alone, the second album by this Portland, Oregon duo sounds restlessly intriguing. "Latitudes for Centuries" opens with a tricky lattice of pseudo-ragtime piano and sighing vocal harmonies, while "Springwater" gallops away with skyward-shooting slide guitar and a rambling bass line. Rhythms jitter pleasingly and guitars transmit hooks effectively. But rendered with thudding, '90s-indie production (think early Modest Mouse or Dismemberment Plan), Entropy's 16 tracks too often feel like a slog.

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