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What the Day Was Dreaming

Maquiladora

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Album Review

Maquiladora's second record, What the Day Was Dreaming, features contributions from members of the Black Heart Procession, Acid Mothers Temple, and Rocket From the Crypt. The shorthand description of the sound they achieve here is the Flaming Lips and Radiohead meet in the desert and play old Kris Kristofferson songs with Calexico. The band calls their music "desert music," and it truly does fit that bill. Desolate, spare, seemingly endless, and lonesome, tracks like "All for Nothing" and "Revolution" are brimming with sadness and melancholy. They sound like they've been wandering the desert lost and without human contact for weeks. You may be wondering if that is praise — and it is, to a certain extent. Maquiladora can sound wrecked and heartbroken, but can also sound arid and lifeless when every song has the same feeling and sound — the same gently strummed guitars, dirgy tempos, and plaintive vocals. By the end of the third track or so you may find yourself reaching for a mindless pleasure like Kiss or the New Pornographers to bring you back to life. It also doesn't help the band's cause much that the vocals tend to be overly dramatic at times. One of the vocalists sounds like Mark Kozelek at his most annoying and his appearances nearly ruin many otherwise fine tracks. What the Day Was Dreaming is a difficult record to like; taken in small doses it can be quite affecting, but for the long haul it is far too oppressive. Much like the desert itself.

What the Day Was Dreaming, Maquiladora
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