Sound Team

Into the Lens

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The second release from Austin's Sound Team, Into the Lens, borrows a page from the foundational sounds of the psychedelic popsters of the 1960s and the contemporary Elephant 6 artists to create a sprawling 22-song set of varied and challenging indie pop songwriting. Less hit-or-miss than their debut, shades of the more twisted Beach Boys recordings and the burned-out country-rock of the Beachwood Sparks help fill out the almost epic feel of the disc, as it shifts from jaunty fairytale sounds to cryptic faux-hillbilly creepiness. Dreamily fading and melting into each other, the set alternates between wild freak-out boogies and more pastoral elements, but is always rooted in a tunefully fuzzy aesthetic. Further, whether channeling the Olivia Tremor Control ("Don't Imbibe the T.V.") or the Velvet Underground ("LaMont Young"), the band manages to emerge with a sound that although undeniably derivative, still allows some of their unique personality to shine through. Still, even as the disc meanders slightly over 20 tracks in length, with many simply being reprises of songs appearing earlier in the set, the repetition ultimately makes the album seem strangely familiar and resonant after only a few listens. All in all, an impressive second step for Sound Team.

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