Rainer Maria

Past Worn Searching

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Nestled inside any other genre, Rainer Maria's caterwauling duets would probably be hung by their britches -- but this is American emocore, which necessitates musicians caress while sounding like atonal Wire demos. A tricky business, to be sure, and it's not an envious occupation. Past Worn Searching repeatedly builds on the deception of traditional rows and loud-soft choruses, puncturing holes in transitions, never minding the inclusion of off-key belts and stories of Hepatitis A. This is mostly a neutered trick despite itself. The album never overcomes its usual trappings either in the album's own ingredients -- one can see the volume jolts coming a mile away -- or the genre itself. In many ways, a beggar's version of the Tiny and Vanessa dynamics in Ultrasound.

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