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Grizzly Bear
HORN OF PLENTY
(KANINE)

Thanks to modern technology, musicians on a budget donít have to be satisfied with making lo-fi recordings in their bedroom using crappy old tape machines. Now they can make lo-fi recordings in their bedroom using state-of-the-art software. Exhibit A: the delightfully peculiar debut album by Brooklyn duo Grizzly Bear, on which old-fashioned hiss and distortion co-exist with the kind of slick segues and bonkers sample manipulation thatís possible only in a digital age. Practically everything here ó guitars, keyboards, vocals, all manner of percussion ó is processed or filtered to create a mood of misty late-night psychedelia. Add fragile but pretty melodies rendered in a mournful murmur and you have a compelling report from outer space. Although the first few songs are a tad somnambulistic, things pick up with track four, "Campfire," which closes with the repeated chant "Thereís a touch of you I think I can feel" (or something like that ó enunciation isnít one of Grizzly Bearís strong suits) accompanied by eerie falsetto voices, shaker, and Morse Code synthesizer. "Shift" takes matters farther, revolving around echoing handclaps and what sounds like a wind-up toy mouse. File next to Syd Barrett and Skip Spence in the "fellow astral travelers" category.

By Mac Randall


Issue Date: December 24 - 30, 2004
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