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The Rebels Not In

The Halo Benders

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Album Review

Once again, Calvin Johnson and Dug Martsch have united to crank out some of the weirdest, most oddly danceable tunes this side of King Kong. On The Rebels Not In, the third full-length effort from the Halo Benders, the duo does a much better job of vocal harmonizing than on their two prior albums, trading deep wails for off-key whines in their own unique fashion. Vocally, this record belongs largely to Calvin, accompanied largely by the trademark shimmering guitar work of Martsch. Opening with "Virginia Reel Around the Fountain," the band takes a far-removed stab at the Smiths classic by combining their trademark zany lyrics with melodramatic teenage angst. "Lonesome Sundown" best exemplifies the wonderful creativity that results from the union of the principal songwriters from Built To Spill and Beat Happening. The Rebels Not In is easily their most accessible effort yet, filled with upbeat, weird and wonderful tunes and a beat so catchy it's often difficult to stop your feet from tapping.

Biography

Formed: 1994

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

The Halo Benders were a side project for Built to Spill's Doug Martsch and Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson, uniting two of the Northwest's more idiosyncratic indie rockers. The results were appropriately loose and eclectic, with an off-the-cuff charm and a quirky sense of humor that brought them general critical approval. Johnson had spent the past decade-plus as the deep-voiced frontman of indie pop pioneers Beat Happening, in the meantime building his K Records imprint into a successful indie venture....
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The Rebels Not In, The Halo Benders
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