Mission Giant

Golden Triangle

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Mission Giant's sweetly whimsical but not stickily emo (thank goodness) way around synth-pop continues with Golden Triangle, possibly the band's most charming release to date. Having staked out its own low-key territory some time back, the group is able to work on further variations of the sound without needing to further reinforce where it's coming from via covers or the like -- even the song titles are a bit calmer, exceptions like "Job Interview Montage (Snakehips)" aside. With brief interludes interspersed throughout -- not quite the equivalent of hip-hop album skits, but not entirely removed in quirky spirit -- things are otherwise merry business as usual. The first full song, "Amphetamine Kiss," sets the mood well for the remainder of the record, squelching basslines, and fragile string synths meshing with a lightly nervous vocal and a full-bodied beat, at once familiar and just a little different than before, parts rearranged in ways that bespeak the 21st century instead of the 20th. Other full-on highlights include "Going for It," at once aggressive and utterly playful fun with its endlessly repeated title and instantaneously energetic punch. Various full song instrumentals have an impact as well -- "Deathbed," with its guest pedal steel guitar adding to its air of an elegant passing into the beyond, is a full-on treasure, as is "Metroplexed," bespeaking the feeling of a hyped up video arcade in a mid-'80s mall finally fully coming to life and getting down on the dancefloor. And sometimes it's all down to a perfect little turn of phrase, thus the chorus of "Gravity Town," which concludes with an almost Human League-like yelp of "...is bringing me down!"

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