Half String


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Where does he find them? Independent Projects (IPR) head Bruce Licher has one of the sharpest ears in the United States for striking music. How else to explain his all but endless parade of new bands that sound completely developed even on debut releases? This unknown Phoenix trio's "Eclipse" swoops, glides, radiates, and caresses in all the right ways, with a guitar (by Brandon) that chimes, a bass (Kimber) that sticks smartly to the basics, and a drummer (Tim) who keeps them creeping ever forward into hypnosis. Brandon has a voice that melts like chocolate chips in the oven, all over and into the melancholic but pushing, pulsing, burrowing sound, enveloped in salient drops of refreshing, not-too-dour pensiveness. This is music that moves without ever having a clue what's being sung. Does it matter? Likewise, the flips, "Maps for Sleep" and "Arc-fold," are more of the same, slower and even more sentimental, before slipping into a few unpredictable switches, such as the post-punk whopper of a waltz near the end. One measly single and a reviewer is ready to sing much bigger praises. Give these three surname-less players a better studio, a month to spend in it, and a lyric sheet, and they could be talking of as "Top Ten most important new U.S. bands." They're already ahead of the U.S. "indie scene" East Coast crew and sit in the front of the class of ethereal guitar pop outfits.