Swan Lake

Enemy Mine

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

The second offering from Canadian indie rock stalwarts Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade), and Carey Mercer (Blackout Beach, Frog Eyes) does its best to strip away the group's penchant for layering multiple songs atop each other, but a three car pile-up is still a pile-up, and listeners who have managed to remain immune to the trio's idiosyncratic brand of "thespian rock" will no doubt find much of Enemy Mine unlistenable. That said, fans of manic melodies, bohemian pageantry, and synapse melting lyricism have no greater modern champions than Bejar, Krug, and Mercer. Named for the 1985 Wolfgang Petersen-directed, race relations sci-fi film that found Dennis Quaid delivering enemy Louis Gossett, Jr.'s alien baby (out of Louis Gossett, Jr.) on the volcanic planet Fryine IV, Enemy Mine walks a lo-fi, Berlin-era Bowie tightrope spooled out over an abyss filled with unreleased material from each artist's aforementioned bands -- the trio's musical styles and flowery "high speak" are so similar, that it can be difficult to match the singer to the song. The first half of Enemy Mine feels less collaborative, but yields some true gems in "Paper Lace" and "Heartswarm" -- the latter could've have easily been pulled from Destroyer's This Night. Midway in however, the trio tosses the bottle into the fire and throw their arms around one another for a good old-fashioned art rock beat-down on "Peace," which sounds like the The Folded Palm, Apologies to the Queen Mary and Your Blues playing simultaneously on huge outdoor speakers, proving that when these gentlemen decide to get down to apocalyptic business, it's best to jump into the nearest foxhole and watch the fireworks from afar.

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