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The Heart Is a Monster

Obscure Nineties alt-rockers prove they deserve their cult

Failure

Ryan Daly

Since their breakup in the late Nineties, Clinton-era alt-rockers Failure have gone from overlooked coulda-beens to cult heroes, numbering Tool and Paramore among their admirers. The band’s first album in 19 years justifies their rep. Spacey and sprawling yet packing plenty of guitar muscle, The Heart Is a Monster picks up where 1996’s Fantastic Planet left off (literally: Both albums contain several numbered “Segue” tracks). It also dives deeper into classic influences like Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys and the Beatles, particularly on the wistful ballad “Mulholland Dr.” As a result, what might’ve been a Nineties nostalgia trip feels more like history made new.

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