October 11, 2007

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The Most Serene Republic, Population
Arts & Crafts Records, Oct. 15
Last-ever Arts & Crafts release to be reviewed in this space for the year, I swear, although I’d be even happier to tell you that the Eskimos have invaded Canada and we’ll never have to hear another note of marginally captivating crypto-sympho-alt posturing again. Unlike all the other Arts & Crafts bands, TMSR aren’t moonlighters from Broken Social Scene, and that’s nice, but I literally went into demonic-possession convulsions upon hearing intro song “Humble Pleasanta” (and what the hell does that mean, and will art school Ph.D. 30somethings ever cease trying to be rock n roll?) rip off the violin outro from Arcade Fire’s “RebellionLies.” There’s scattered hope here for the future, though, if they can overcome all the peer pressure — the thing with this bunch is that they sort of want to be Yes, judging by all their Yes-like prog-rock and mind-blowing Yes-like arpeggios and Yes-like singing, but because they’re financed by indie-tards they hold back and make it messy, like side one of Close to the Edge splattered with globs of Gerber brand strained carrots. CEric W. Saeger