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Preston School of Industry | Monsoon | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Preston School of Industry

Monsoon (Matador)
by Tim Den

That-other-guy-from-Pavement, Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg, returns with his second Preston School of Industry album, sounding more Terror Twilight than either "Date With Ikea" or "Two States." Known all along for being the "more pop" guy, it shouldn't be surprising that age has only pushed Kannberg toward hooks rather than Renaissance guitar fare (ahem Malkmus). Opener "The Furnace Sun," "Walk of a Gurl," "So Many Ways," and "Her Estuary Twang" all sport seriously parasitic melody lines: Sometimes vocal, sometimes guitar, always drapped over with a New Mexican veil of dust and openness. Kannberg takes his time nursing one riff per song, over and over again, until it's aged and full-bodied. The loving repetition doesn't always pay off, though. "Caught in the Rain" is slightly too long, and "Get Your Crayons Out!" is completely useless, even as filler (despite the guest appearance of all four Wilco members). Come to think of it, the album really starts to trail off toward the end, with "Escalation Breeds Escalation" and "Tone it Down" feeling like rushed sketches included to pad out the "full-length" requirement. No big whoop, though, cuz most of Monsoon's acoustic ebbing wins enough of your affection to garner a place in your collection.
(625 Broadway New York, NY 10012)


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