The Hippo

HOME| ADVERTISING| CONTACT US|

 
Sep 23, 2017







NEWS & FEATURES

POLITICAL

FOOD & DRINK

ARTS

MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

POP CULTURE



BEST OF
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISING
CONTACT US
PAST ISSUES
ABOUT US
MOBILE UPDATES
LIST MY CALENDAR ITEM


The Districts, Popular Manipulations (Fat Possum Records)




Small Leaks Sink Ships, Golden Calf (Lefse Records)

Take the slightly jagged edge of Spoon, soften it with Wilco filters and add a liberal dose of Vampire Weekend’s percussion fetish and you have the fourth album from this Portland, Oregon, band, the progressive-rock-leaning unit that’s had to persevere through members getting into motorcycle accidents and battling cancer and wound up intact, lucky for everyone. It’s got claps and things that could come out of the 808 you have in the attic somewhere, but it’s not one of those interminably cheesy things that seem to wash over this desk in waves, and although it wants to get as goofy as Menomena it really doesn’t, aside from some brief detours. One of the two singers does a pretty good Conor Oberst imitation (the Grizzly Bear-ish “Airplane Junkyard,” which benefits from some pretty clever vocal samples). Bottom line is that the songs keep to the current palette of Pitchfork-approved sounds, stay technically interesting and get pretty loud, almost Zep-like, just when you’re starting to space out. It’s up there with M83’s first record, certainly. A+ — Eric W. Saeger




The Districts, Popular Manipulations (Fat Possum Records)
CD Reviews: September 7, 2017

09/07/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



The Districts, Popular Manipulations (Fat Possum Records)

Same old story, four kids who live near Amish country in Pennsylvania decide they can be hipsters but accidentally make decent songs, thrusting them into the dog-eat-dog netherland of trying to compete with everything else that’s covered by Rolling Stone and NPR instead of hoping the Pitchfork writers aren’t having a bad day. This is their third album, boasting a more angular approach than the two previous ones, where frontman Rob Grote was doing more of a Bono thing over the indie-power-trio equivalent of tattered linen, meaning the tunes basically rocked but in an ethereal fashion. In this LP, the guitars are more angular and straightforward, while Grote’s voice eases up a bit, making him sound more like The Cure’s Robert Smith on “Ordinary Day.” Opener “If Before I Wake,” however, is a muffled mid-tempo stoner bit reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra if anything, while “Point” is like a slow-mo clip of Buzzcocks trying to out-songwrite Goo Goo Dolls. Top-drawer choice for something to augment your sports-bar’s vibe. A — Eric W. Saeger
 





®2017 Hippo Press. site by wedu