Strain of Positive Thinking

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With its dizzying mix of progressive rock, emo, and shoegazer pop, Kilowatthours creates sophisticated and expansive soundscapes using the typical assortment of guitar, bass, synth, piano, and drums. Words become altogether secondary, and for the most part are inaudible and largely indecipherable, fading into the background under the majestic rush of guitar feedback and soaring piano melodies. While the emphasis on piano can almost give the tracks a new age tint, there is little denying the cinematic beauty of pieces like "Another Great Reason" or "That You All Played." Still, a song like "Ellipses" could draw comparisons to Yo La Tengo, although with dissonant drive exchanged for a more emotionally neutral feel. Another highlight, the subdued rendition of the Velvet Underground's "Candy Says," matches the solemnity of the original with only keyboard drones and vocals. In the end, Strain of Positive Thinking is a worthy diversion from the swelling ranks of homogenized indie rock.

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