Atlas

These New Jersey jangle scientists tuck instrumentals into all their LPs (here, the wistful surf dream "April's Song"), and it's telling: They're out for guitar bliss, like a lilting pop version of Sonic Youth or Television. Their third LP refines the approach with keyboardist Matt Kallman, allowing guitarists Martin Courtney and Matt Mondanile more curlicue time and adding a spacier vibe – "The Bend" even approaches Pink Floyd territory. And the murmured lyrics seem more consequential. "Talking Backwards," Real Estate's most indelible song yet, nails a relationship stalemate; "Crime," a close second, speaks of "crippling anxiety." It's six-string Xanax for white-knuckled indie rockers.

From The Archives Issue 1204: March 13, 2014
x