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Javelin, Hi Beams
(Luaka Bop Records)

02/21/13
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



2/21/2013

Probably should have seen this one coming, even if my faith in this generation’s capacity to make real art from available tools nearly died when Autotune took over.  The band is supported by ex-Talking Heads David Byrne, who owns the Luaka Bop label and whose quirkiness was, as you probably know, the standard for art-pop during the 1980s. What he’s discovered in Javelin is a pair of guys who squeeze every resistor for every bit of worth on the technical end, but my God, someone took some advanced voice lessons — the vocals at startup tune “Light Out” could be mistaken for Yes’s Jon Anderson’s sweet unobtrusive falsetto, a long-overdue counter to all the un-pro Beach Boys crap you kids have been getting pushed on you since 2006. There’s a tropical element at work here, as some critics have noted, but not the same angle Vampire Weekend fires from (except for “l’Ocean,” which is actually better than anything I’ve ever heard from VW) (no, I’m not kidding) — if these guys owe anyone a few bucks for general sound licensing it’d be Battles, what with the click-whirr droid attitude.  Social-media-scolder “Friending” buries a joyous hook toward the end of its friendly diatribe. This will be a Record of the Year contender pretty much everywhere. A+ — Eric W. Saeger






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