Shlohmo, 'Bad Vibes' (Friends of Friends)

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Bad Vibes
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Label: Friends of Friends

by Jon Young

So understated it's ?downright spooky, the fractured ambient pop of Los Angeles' Henry Laufer, a.k.a Shlohmo, feels like a tantalizing, long-suppressed memory floating just out of reach. Processed guitars and keyboards, wordless ?vocals, and muted beats blend into a pastel wash of sound, as shifting patterns hint at familiar styles without assuming a clear shape. "Places" might be mainstream R&B deconstructed to the brink of collapse, while "Sink" compiles vague shards of electronica. The sputtering "Your Stupid Face" sounds a rare note of genuine menace, but Laufer's fragile unease inspires unsettling moments throughout.

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