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In the Meantime...

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Album Review

What was experimental style at one point and revival at another is now simply part of the continuum of the endless present of the musical 21st century in many cases, and what Vive l'American Death Ray Music does with its favored strands — Motorik, the shadowy corners of post-punk/indie music and flecks of classic dub (admittedly rather implied by calling the final song simply that — "Dub") — is a fine spin on those approaches. In the Meantime...'s closest American forebear might perhaps be Pell Mell, but with a more explicit lyrical focus thanks to singer/guitarist Nicholas Ray, whose vocals find their own enjoyable way in the wake of Lou Reed's rough/wired approach (perhaps tellingly this first surfaces here strongly on "Needle to the Heart of the Matter"). The promise of Krautrock's forward surge dictates much of In the Meantime..., rewired for a context of endless car journeys down long roads under open skies — or even just a mental version of same. If the slight downside is that a good chunk of the album hits that general mode not to vary much from it until towards its end — after all, even Neu!'s original albums were never simply just one approach all the way through! — then the upside of hearing a band on its fourth album create a batch of memorable songs can't be knocked. Credit as well to a sense of humor at play — "Thieves Oh Glorious Thieves" appears in a second take at the end subtitled "F*****g Twee Version" (presumably because of the additional string arrangement) while if "Same Suit Different Tie" isn't intended as a spot-on Strokes parody, it really needs to be co-opted as one.

In the Meantime..., Viva L'American Death Ray Music
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