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Back from Durbecca

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Album Review

Fusing traditional cultural musics with a distinctly American college rock sensibility, the Immigrant Suns' sophomore effort is an interesting blend. From the sensual crooning and exotic flavor of "Body" to the winding Eastern European melodies of the instrumental "Wood," the Immigrant Suns display an amazing technical skill that emphasizes the comfort they feel with flip-flopping around various musical styles. A haunting melancholy hangs above the tracks that violinist Ben Temkow cultivates with his sweeping string work, but the mood is often pulled from being too grim by the endearing singing from Joel Peterson, Doug Shimmin and sometimes Temkow himself. They bring to mind the nerd-chic approach of the dual vocalists in the Barenaked Ladies, albeit with an emphasis on traditional harmonies that sometimes masks their charismatic voices. Energetic, moody, and gleefully weird, Back from Durbecca is a warm and earthy record despite its idiosyncrasies. By delivering picture-perfect performances in their own distinct way, the Immigrant Suns manage to graft the approach of adult alternative rock to European and Latin music without a hitch. It may be a tad too ambitious for some tastes, but this actually does bridge gaps between the two styles, and may invoke some curious reactions when fans of either decide to give it a spin.

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