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The Indifferent Universe (2011 Version)

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Album Review

Saying that Terrene's debut album is of its time and place is putting it simply but accurately — like any number of albums currently lumped under the indie rock banner, there's something about The Indifferent Universe that's familiar, arguably a bit too familiar. The starry-eyed gaze of the whole package — the stargazing but sweet album cover art, the theme of humanity meaning something in an infinity, the wistful vocals caught somewhere between Doug Jantsch and Wayne Coyne — is almost part for the course these days, and so The Indifferent Universe does not challenge boundaries so much as reconfirm them, though beautifully so. The secret ingredient is actually another seemingly overused approach, though — shoegaze. The cascading feedback delay on a song like "Andromeda" and the extended bliss-out soloing on the concluding "Mermaid (Lost at Sea)" shows that Terrene has listened to Slowdive as much as, say, Supertramp. Combined with the grandiose aims of the album as a whole, it makes for a surprisingly exhilarating listen at points — if the drive for epic aspiration is simply yet another approach for any rock band at this point in time, it's refreshing to hear a group figure out how to breathe new life into the form. Further, the short running time of many of the songs is its own way of keeping things under control — "Makr" is one of the biggest sounding tracks, but doesn't even break the three-minute mark, for instance — while the happy synth-pop melody that introduces "Unwelcome" is a sharp little twist.

The Indifferent Universe (2011 Version), Terrene
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