May 11, 2006


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Anathallo, Floating World
Artist Friendship/Nettwerk, 2006

Given all the twists and turns taken in this set it’d be a commendable choice for The One Record You’d Need If Stuck in a Life Raft for Months. Nettwerk picked up this self-release for its experimentalist stable, a stoic display of intestinal fortitude no matter how you slice it, being that this seven-piece can’t be easily characterized for either the mainstream or fringe. Andrew Dost’s quavering but defiant voice metes out chill and high energy without humor, fully expecting all of it to be taken seriously as an audit, and eventually even the most inattentive listener is sucked into their weird little glockenspiel/found percussion/flugelhorn world. Devout Christians, their album relates a Japanese folk tale, the musical sums unique but the parts recognizable (some Jesus Christ Superstar, Stomp, Sufjan Stevens, King Crimson, Miles Davis). Proggish parts lead into sludge-polka rock-outs ending in patches of deflated minor chords where most any other songwriter would have simply soft-balled a radio-ready hook — you find yourself waiting to see what they’ll pull next. B-

— E.W.S.

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