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Splice Today: Lower Dens’ Twin-Hand Movement

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Here’s my review of Lower Dens’ Twin-Hand Movement, which is a really confusing, great album that’s really hard to write about, so I just took the detached, “try to explain” it route but there’s a ton of stuff I’m missing. And that’s always the case with reviews of any length but especially here. I actually think both of these pieces (“Blue and Silver” track review, Twin-Hand Movement review) by City Paper’s Michael Byrne kinda wrestle with it better than I, but still, there’s something missing there too, so you should probably just listen to the record yourself.

In an indie rock climate currently consumed by schticky eclecticism, Baltimore’s Lower Dens stand out for confidently and provocatively mining entry-level indie influences: the deliberate chug of the Velvet Underground, Cat Power in her noisy naïf phase, Joy Division’s disco-punk in a dungeon style. But Jana Hunter and her band don’t simply regurgitate underground rock classics; they approach these intermediate sounds from odd angles.

Two damaged, garage-rock instrumentals (“Holy Water” and “Completely Golden”) sandwich “I Get Nervous,” a confused, touching, almost love song (“Baby, I get nervous/Just being in your service”). “Rosie” noodles around for more than a minute before bass and drums enter the mix and once they do, Hunter’s hesitant vocals frantically climb through the group’s hazy, mass of sound. “Plastic and Powder” is a dubby, No-Wave-tinged composition stretched to its breaking point, building up, then simmering down to Fripp & Eno-like globs of ambient noise. It’s a beautiful moment on an otherwise nervous and jittery album…

Written by Brandon

August 5th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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