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The Forms

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Album Review

Nearly four years after their debut album, Icarus, the Forms return with the far superior self-titled follow-up. Again working with Steve Albini, the Brooklyn-based quartet moves far beyond the chilly, slightly pretentious post-rock of 2003's Icarus. The Forms is much more song-based and melodic than its sketchier predecessor, with a new emphasis on structure and tunes. The album is still a moody and impressionistic affair that favors sensuality over literal meaning — lead singer Alex Tween's vocals are buried so deep in the mix he often might as well not be singing in English — but songs like "Transmission," "Getting It Back," and "Knowledge in Hand" are far easier to grasp than anything on the Forms' debut. Even the less direct material, like "Focus" and "Oberlin," two brief songs that are more like evocative soundscapes than fully fleshed-out pop songs, feels more precisely put together. Experimental without losing its accessibility, The Forms is an excellent example of how to make a smart, compelling indie rock album without getting lost in the weeds of artsy meaninglessness.


Formed: 2000

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Together since 2000, the Forms hail from Brooklyn, NY. Matt Walsh (aka Acquaman) on drums, Rob Stillwell on bass/vocals, and Alex Tween (aka Ecco Teres) on vocals/guitar deliver their own punk-inspired indie pop similar to the likes of the Dismemberment Plan, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Slint. In the last few years, the Forms have shared dates with Brandtston, Arab on Radar, the Red and the Black, and Black Eyes. In early 2002, the band hooked up with Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Breeders, Cinerama)...
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