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Guitaro

JJ's Crystal Palace

(Independent; US: 18 Oct 2010; UK: 18 Oct 2010)

Rock 'n' roll with a few extras

Electronica-tinged guitar rock forms the backbone of Guitaro’s new album. JJ’s Crystal Palace features fuzzy guitar, drum machines, vocals both male and female, occasional keyboards and a wide array of guitar effects that sometimes give the impression of being underwater (“Chateau 100”) or floating through the cosmos (“2085”). Other tunes follow a more sedated path, but standout cuts tend to be the ones with a more eccentric range of sounds. “Toothpaste” builds upon its layers of pulsing synth to something unexpectedly compelling, while “Make You” trades samples and beats for strummed acoustic guitar and mopey lyrics. All told, it’s an engaging record from a band that may not quite have found its voice yet, but is nevertheless fun to listen to as it searches.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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