The album doesn’t conform to anything nor does this band. The Conformists, whose last album was Two Hundred, try to dazzle critics with a cross between improvisational and math rock, resulting in disjointed affairs such as “Laundry Hepburn” and “Stairway to Heaven”—which is far from anything Robert Plant and Jimmy Page ever contemplated. This album might be appealing to some, but just being different for the sake of being different rarely comes across as breathtaking, resulting in a rather boring “Meredith Knezvitch” that sounds like At the Drive-In if they were performing at an old folks’ home. “Tax Deduction” is a mild improvement as it inches along with an eerie undercurrent and “Black People” has more of the same artsy sludge. Need more proof? The percussion-driven “Are These Flowers” is at times interesting but generally boring. Although recorded by Steve Albini, there’s not a lot here that one should get their knickers in a knot over.
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// Notes from the Road
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