[11 April 2011]
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.