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Lymbyc Systym

Love Your Abuser

(Mush Records; US: 30 Jan 2007; UK: 12 Feb 2007)

The first full-length album from the brothers Bell—Jared and Michael—is ambient, expressive, emotional, and thoughtful without one word being spoken. Whether it is the slow, rich, and reflective “Rest Easy/Age Kindly” that soars but never breaks through the clouds, or the intricate, winding title track, Lymbyc Systym can say so much with so little. Fans of Spiritualized, Mogwai, and Stereolab would lap up these tracks, despite the fact that no guitar is used, just keyboards, some programming, and great drumming. There is an adventurous thread through the record as well, especially on the deliberate, meticulous, and layered “Astrology Days” that resembles something from Radiohead circa Kid A.  Some numbers are quirky and challenging, including “Fall Bicycle”, which does take some time to get into. But a song like “Birds” turns one on immediately with its hooks, twists, and turns a la M83. Although there are 10 songs here, it is basically one joyful ride that goes up, down, up, sideways, down, and up again, exemplified by a mellower ditty named “Pittsburgh Left”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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