Lashed and Lulled
Both chaotic and celestial [perhaps my alliterative urge exaggerates a little on the second tag], this is a wholly engaging album from the energetic Seattle band who merge disjointed rhythms, simple handclaps/other percussion, wind instruments and/or strings, and vocal repetitions with some glorious female harmony, the latter which could best be characterised as Manhattan Transfer crossed/cloned with Stereolab. I was cautious at first when listening to the vocal clever-clogs of opener Helping Hand, but after this the ride becomes genuinely exciting. The musical mix constantly surprises in its discordant dips and then glorious melody. It is like reading a book that shifts between complex prose and the most rhythmically soothing poetry. Completely refreshing, but you might not call it relaxing – until lulled by a swathe of lush aural accord.