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Without Number

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Album Review

Plumerai's pursuit of an older sound now fully revived — the romantically inclined drive of post-punk in the vein of such powerfully melancholic performers like the Chameleons — continues apace on Without Number, which starts out strong with the brawling sweep of "Home Again," tense guitar lines and warm background textures combining again and again, and doesn't look back. Elizabeth Ezell's vocals are in many ways the core of the band; rather than specifically sounding like an earlier forebear, she has her own simultaneously fragile yet fiery delivery well in hand. Combined with the group's own desire not to simply repeat the past — a lesson too many current bands haven't learned at all — everything feels refracted through a variety of lenses, a nervously lush musical bed supporting an often intensely ragged singer, whose vocal catches lend a frayed-edge kick to the music. The constant introduction of different styles helps to keep both the band and listeners on their toes — the presence of an accordion, signaled in part through the album art, is often a very lovely touch. On "Blues & Greens," its presence turns the song into both a sea shanty and a bit of French glamour, leading into a dreamily lush conclusion that sounds like cascading chandelier crystals.

Without Number, Plumerai
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