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Album Review

Southern California's Bethany Curve have always shown promise as post-rock experimentalists. Still, the definable content of 2001's You Brought Us Here was almost completely obscured by an impenetrable fog of guitar effects. That overstatement has been mostly remedied for Flaxen, which applies the dream pop aesthetic to stronger songcraft. Vocalist/guitarist Richard Millang guides "Sleep" with his simplistic moan — his words don't matter as much as the dour sense of detachment they sketch out. Things are more upbeat during "The Means," which cranks up a decent impersonation of Storm in Heaven-era Verve while soaking everything in sight with a reverb water cannon. Flaxen is strongest during instrumentals like "Omaha Beach," when the band doesn't seem as concerned with formula, and can instead apply its compositional skills to subtly sequencing the randomness of ambient texture.


Formed: May, 1994 in Santa Cruz, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singers/guitarists Richard Millang and Ray Lake, bassist Chris Preston and drummer David Mac Wha formed the ambient pop outfit Bethany Curve in Santa Cruz, CA in May 1994; adopting the motto "Atmosphere, Arrangement, Sound, Layering and Noise," the group issued their debut cassette Mee-eaux in 1995, signing to Unit Circle the following year for the full-length Skies a Crossed Sky. The group next resurfaced in 1998 with Gold. Three years later, Bethany Curve released You Brought Us Here, but not without...
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Flaxen, Bethany Curve
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