CD Reviews: Volcano! and White Arrows
In their follow-up to 2008's "Paperwork," the odd-rock trio volcano! can't help but indulge their frenetic impulses, but are most impressive in their quieter moments, like the short, piano excursion "Danceman," which precedes the almost National-esque centerpiece "Fighter." Of Montreal's mutant funk is an apt comparison here, as are the off-kilter melodies of Architecture in Helsinki, but the lyrics of lead singer Aaron With (taking a break from his gig as editor-in-chief of deal site Groupon), laden as they are with stories about space nuns and economic theories, and backed by the complicated rhythms of drummer Sam Scranton and the fat, buzzing synths of Mark Cartwright, make this band their own beast.
'Dry Land Is Not A Myth'
With their ebullient debut, quintet White Arrows takes their turn in the tropical-electronic bouncy castle erected not so long ago by Animal Collective and shared by acts like Grizzly Bear, MGMT and Local Natives. With his crisp vocals pushed to the fore, singer Mickey Church sounds very much like Panda Bear's Noah Lennox before he goes through the lyric-obliterating psychedelic wash. At 34 minutes, this album feels oddly close to overlong, but that may stem from the quiet descent after the strong triplet of opener "Roll Forever," the neon-lit Afropop number "Get Gone," and summer-mix standout "Coming or Going," with Church's falsetto riding a denatured beat.