This arty New York band's previous album, 2011's Lenses Alien, was delirious indie-rock bedlam. The four-piece crew's follow-up, reportedly written in response to the death of a friend, is just as anarchic. Handspringing between the rowdy folk-punk antics of "XR" and the sweetly sordid "Child Bride," it's a riveting elegy. Producer John Agnello (who has worked with acts including Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.) gives the album a stadiumcaliber sound, which frontman Joseph D'Agostino offsets with his sharp-edged falsetto, hacking violently against the orchestral current. The band hits even keel with the standout track "Chambers," an Eighties-tinged throwback to both the Cars and the Cure.
From The Archives Issue 1217: September 11, 2014