Mole City

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For most bands, it can take a decade or two for them to really spread their wings and get a little weird with their music. Quasi, however, are not most bands. With early work that featured intricate pop songs crafted around a duo of rocksichord and drums, it was clear that the duo were going to be on a vastly different trajectory than their contemporaries. Now, 20 years into their career, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss return with their eighth album as Quasi, the sprawling Mole City. Feeling like the Portland duo's take on the White Album, the album is a free-associated journey through the last two decades of not just Quasi's work, but the works that inspired them. The album drifts freely from sweet pop to raucous rock to odd bursts of noise, never quite settling on anything long enough to stagnate; a welcome quality in an album that's an hour long. And like the vaunted White Album, it's Mole City's disjointedness that unifies it. Once it's clear that anything can happen, the lack of a common sound makes each track an exciting new proposition, allowing the listener to feel a sense of discovery despite the fact that they've been listening to Quasi for as long as two decades now. While some bands might be content to just putter along after so much time, the fact that Quasi have put out an album that feels so different is a testament to their creative longevity, and even though they've been putting out solid work for their entire career, their blend of strange and sweet pop has never lost its ability to surprise and charm the listener.

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