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Cleaning the Mirror

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Album Review

Pink Reason is Wisconsin D.I.Y. home-recording savant Kevin DeBroux and his battery of lo-tech tools, creating a sound not unlike a more traditionally musical version of Jandek's atonal folk-blues. The comparison is most obvious on stripped-down guitar and voice tunes like "M**********r," and the skeletal, reverb-drenched closer "Up the Sleeve." But wisely, DeBroux varies his approach widely on these six lengthy tunes. Therefore, "Storming Heaven" incorporates primitive electronics, moaning vocals and gallons of echo to create something akin to the prog-psych frenzy of the United States of America and the Silver Apples. "Thrush" is more melodic, with a downright haunting keyboard line decorated by a plodding rhythm track that sounds like the clanking of Jacob Marley's chains. Those with a taste for the fringier elements of the alt folk underground would do well to check out Pink Reason. Unlike many similarly insular artists, there is no sense of put-on or persona in these songs (cough *Devendra Banhart* cough), and there's a definite aesthetic sense on display here that makes Cleaning the Mirror a difficult but not impossible record to decode and enjoy.

Cleaning the Mirror, Pink Reason
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