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Downed: A Singles Collection

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Album Review

Downed, by the indie pop duo Butterglory, certainly warrants comparisons to early Pavement. Nevertheless, Butterglory were less famous contemporaries of Malkmus and Co., so the pair's charmingly skewed music doesn't so much bear the anxiety of influence (or place them in the vast leagues of Pavement followers) as display a parallel like-mindedness. And you can't fake pop sensibility like this: There are incredibly tuneful songs tucked away beneath all of the indie ephemera and crude playing. This album actually collects material from Butterglory's early 7" EPs. Despite the patchwork, the collection stands on its own as a cohesive album (though you can certainly see an evolution in the group's stripped-down and highly appealing songcraft between earlier and later material). Highlights include the chugging "Stuck" and the more laid-back "A Toast to the Queen," both of which will give rise to the inevitable Pavement comparisons. The mild-mannered duo can also get a little edgy at times, unleashing some skronk on "Alexander Bends." This is an appealing collection of slightly warped yet beguiling indie rock.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Butterglory is a lo-fi indie-rock duo from Lawrence, KS (via California) who, much like Pavement, early Yo La Tengo, and the Archers of Loaf, produce tuneful yet skewed tracks. (Live, the two employ additional musicians to fill out the sound.) The group's songs often skitter off into skronk and feedback and then, just as quickly, re-emerge as pop gems. The pair, Matt Suggs and Debby Vander Wall, released their debut full-length, the sloppily produced yet beguiling Crumble, in 1994. They followed...
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Downed: A Singles Collection, Butterglory
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