Sian Alice Group, 'Troubled, Shaken, Etc.' (Social Registry)

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Troubled, Shaken, Etc.
Critical Mass
Label: The Social Registry

by Jessica Suarez

With other bands Tweeting and gut-pouring, there's something startling about this London trio's impenetrability. They create mood songs as discrete units, each as bulletproof -- or smudgeproof -- as the band itself. Credit Sian Ahern, a singer with Nico's presence and complexion, minus the contralto. Here, Ahern's glassy, emotionless voice acts as a guide, snaking through tribal percussion and grain-silo howls, until the high-hat shimmer of "Salt Water" comes to a violent, distorted close. It's an ambiguous ending that makes the journey all the more fascinating.

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