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Debt Dept.

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Album Review

Excepter's own bemusing path through the murkier corners of whatever the noise scene of the early 21st century is has likely frustrated as many fans as it has entranced — it's no surprise that they've ended up on Animal Collective's label, and Debt Dept shows why it's a good home for them. Beginning with the logically entitled "Entrance 08," an intentionally trudging number that actually keeps up the pace, Excepter are again showing that the conventional way to mix a song isn't the only one. Vocals here, as throughout the album, exist almost as addenda to the songs — not just background textures but not anything else either, giving a sense of a series of dramatic recitations being heard from a few doors over, evocative but not quite understandable. The song itself is a perfect, lengthy statement of purpose with its up-front guitars and increasingly stripped-down and focused drones — get in or get out, the band almost seems to be saying — and from there Debt Dept explores a variety of takes on the basic sound. While comparisons could be made to various no wave forebears, an interesting analog — suggested by songs like "Kill People," with its hollow drum sounds and general murk — would be the experimental side of early Bauhaus, where such demi-instrumentals as "Untitled" and "Earwax" held sway. Meanwhile, "Greenhouse/Stretch" is an actual death disco number of sorts — or at least a dance track for actual zombies, thanks to its core keyboard loop squelch — while the concluding "Sunrise" (at least not counting the bonus track, "'Burgers") is an honest to God rock epic in the band's own way, thanks to the build of the verses and the way it feels more like an "actual" song as such, or more accurately a more conventional one.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in the summer of 2002 in New York City, Excepter, originally consisted of DJs John Fell Ryan (vocals, synths, drum box, and electronics) and Dan Hougland (synths, drum box, electronics, and piano) along with husband-and-wife duo Calder Martin (vocals, guitar, and percussion) and Caitlin Cook (vocals and dancing), who all came together to explore the more esoteric nature of house and experimental music. Soon, Macrae Semans, who had also DJed in the New York club scene, was added, and in 2003,...
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Debt Dept., Excepter
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Contemporaries