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Buoy Bell

(Self-released; US: Import; UK: 29 Aug 2011)

Celilo are another in a long line of bands playing languid, gauzy, reverb-drenched songs that aim for a certain laid-back appeal. They often succeed, but to what end? A few of the tunes on Buoy Bell, like “Baroque Blues” and “Axis” are memorable, but many others roll off without making much impression. The back half of the album, especially, passes by in a monochrome blur even after repeated listens.  The news isn’t all dire. As mentioned, “Baroque Blues” sticks in the mind with its angsty vocals and bouncing melody, while “Axis” transforms its guitar-strummer opening to an edgier, faintly menacing crescendo. All told, though, there’s just not enough going on here to make these tunes stand out from the indie-rock-folk pack.


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, and, 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, 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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