Portland, Oregon trio Wow & Flutter shares its name with a song by pioneering post-rock group Stereolab, and, in some respects, it resembles a brawnier, Americanized version of the Anglo-French ensemble on its latest release, Equilibrio!. By and large, however, Wow & Flutter’s hypnotic krautrock-esque grooves and winding riffs veer closer to homegrown math rock. Songs ebb and flow, with frontman Cord Amato’s guitar playing weaving intricate melody lines that explode into surging bursts of distortion, subsiding when thematically necessary. Amato’s characterless singing voice is the album’s main weak spot and there are some dull, quieter moments to be found, but noteworthy cuts like “The Puget Sound” and the absorbing grind of “Ivan the Terrible” make up for those shortcomings by displaying the group’s collective tightness and knack for instrumental interplay.
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// Notes from the Road
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