Lean Beat

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Recorded as a duo, Lean Beat finds former Bluetip guitarist/vocalist Jason Farrell and ex-Garden Variety drummer Joe Gorelick coming together as Retisonic to embrace the modus operandi outlined in this EP's title. And the disc -- produced by J. Robbins (Dismemberment Plan, Jets to Brazil, Jimmy Eat World) -- is indeed musically fat free. Just check the basic, brute force of "Caught in the Light" which blows the door wide open for the Jawbreaker-inspired hookery of "Malaligned." An aggressive, love-on-the-rocks rocker like "Take Your Gun and Hide" is as likable as it is disturbing, with lines about physical abuse and dysfunctional amour, but Farrell's six tunes are top-notch, inclusive of "First Night of a Year-Long Mistake," which starts out with tender, acoustic touches and transforms into a muscular ode to regret.

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