The For Carnation


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Slint fans, beware: Brian McMahan, the former frontman behind one of the most influential indie bands nobody ever heard of, is back, and this time he's very, very...subdued. Like Slint, The For Carnation constructs vivid aural paintings of warm, rich textures that are able to transform the listener's mood and mindset. Unfortunately, the mood doesn't change a whole lot over the course of the band's debut EP, instead wallowing in a melancholy mire of minor-key guitar strumming and delicately whispered vocals. This music is too minimalist to even be called ambient; it's almost nonexistent! Only on the lumbering instrumental "I Wear the Gold," which is propelled ever forward by Tortoise drummer John Herndon's insistent rhythms, does Marshmallows approach the sort of dynamic tension that made Slint's music so invigorating. A fine album perfectly suited for rainy Sunday afternoon listening, Marshmallows is perhaps best recommended for those who find Codeine and Low just a tad too exhilarating.

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