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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Synchromy

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Hometapes isn't officially releasing Feathers' Synchromy until Oct. 17. But you can and should get it right now from the Boulder, Colo., label's Web site, because when you do you'll be the coolest kid in your little indie rock circle. The second EP in a planned series of three, Synchromy is a dizzying mishmash of instrumental, kraut rock-influenced psychedelia. Employing a laundry list of instruments, the three-piece band builds layers of drones, blips, Stereolab-aping synths and sudden jangles of guitar here and there — overall, it's no surprise this thing was produced in part by Tortoise mastermind John McEntire. "Skara Brain" is the album's most psyched-out track, with an organ leading the charge at a loping 1960s gait. Later on, "Iron Mountain" takes things into jazz-ish territory with clean-strummed chords and a twisted electronic beat. The piano work might recall vintage Joe Jackson, but Jackson was never, ever this weird. Of the EP's five tracks, the strongest by far is "Ap(parenthe)-synthesis." At first listen, it sounds to be the most straightforward song here, essentially building from only two chords. But the track has tons of secrets, and Feathers are good at letting them leak out slowly. Here, they're like a modern-day Kraftwerk, subverting rhythm and melody, and taking what could easily be a total snooze and turning it into something lulling and beautiful. That's the strength here, really. Things are constantly changing, with instruments fading in and out, the rhythm and style constantly shifting. But Feathers do it so fluidly you only notice after the changes have occurred.

Cory D. Byrom writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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