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The Ants

Ideabreaker

(Sickroom; US: 5 Jun 2007; UK: Available as import)

Idiosyncratic, eccentric and grand are each of the ten songs which make up Kansas-based quartet The Ants’ latest effort. Utilizing elements of lo-fi indie pop, classic rock, jazz and country in pursuit of their strange and wonderful musical ideals, the group both excels at and seems to revel in their ability to marry unexpected changes in arrangement, rhythm and structure with some pretty catchy tunes. The album’s highlights are varied in their specifics but united in tone and attitude. “Satisfaction” is a rock and roll waltz which finds its identity in soulful organ passages, lounge jazz Wurlitzer riffs and a pretty sweet dose of rhythmic togetherness. “The Donkey Talking About Long Ears” has a full on jazz open before taking on a more spirited indie rock feel; “Jesus” is ‘70s country rock complete with honkytonk steel and soaring harmonies. Album closer “Statues” is a great example of the band’s approach to their work, mixing an old school jazz feel (complete with horns, call and response vocals and finger snaps) with noise rock guitar figures. The band’s willingness to embrace the unconventional can lead to a few less palatable moments but for the most part Ideabreaker is a successful romp through the beautifully twisted artistic minds of The Ants.

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