Mar 00


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So it’s quarter past seven, I’m sick as a dog and everybody else has gone home. I’m left with striplit walls and copier hum and a spreadsheet full of data on the Canadian power tools industry. The Aluminum Group fit the situation from their super-functional name on in: this is cubicle music. Morose, buttoned-down, economical tech-pop from their recent Pedals album, “Impress Me” is a massive shift forward from the breezier pop on Plano, their previous record. Roughly speaking, they used to be good and now they’re interesting. According to the group’s label website, producer Jim O’Rourke’s been encouraging them to stretch out without losing sight of the hooks, and that desire to experiment a little comes through. Four minutes of quiet, single-minded guitar pulses, sighing synth drones and Jim Navin’s throatily bleak vocals, “Impress Me” is finally and thankfully still pop, but pop unusual enough that I’ve got to go right back to 80s one-hit-intellectuals Furniture for a comparison. Song ends. Click to play again. Back to work.

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