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Your Universe, Your Mind

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Album Review

Despite the absolutely atrocious faux-Jamaican (?!) narration (or "spoken interludes," as the liner notes refer to them) this is a thoroughly enjoyable, if uneven, debut EP. The epic guitar heroics that take over after the initial verbal tedium on the first track is reminiscent of Crazy Horse or even Southern fried axe slingers like the Allman Brothers, but after that those references quickly disappear. The second track could be a latter-day Mercury Rev or Flaming Lips outtake as we are transported into the story of the eponymously named settlement known as Hypatia Lake. Because, as on their subsequent full-length, ...and We Shall Call Him Joseph, which furthers the fable, this is the very definition of a concept album. This seven-song collection purportedly introduces us, although in oblique terms, to the fictitious town, its inhabitants, and the candy factory that is at once its primary industry and its soul-sucking antagonist. Elements of the Elephant Six collective and British shoegaze are bandied about, along with the earthy (of '80s American jangle pop) and the ethereal (of the aforementioned Mercury Rev as well as Sparklehorse). It's a captivating debut; it will be interesting to see where the tale takes us next (although despite the spoken narrative it's difficult to picture Hypatia Lake in the Caribbean).

Your Universe, Your Mind, Hypatia Lake
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