Maserati

The Language of Cities

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Maserati's use of standard rock instrumentation and explorations of musical forms outside the genre may have come a few years too late -- bands like Tortoise and Shipping News being only two of the many acts to excel at this in the mid-'90s. Still, Language of Cities is an excellent debut from a post-rock band whose Athens, GA, roots would imply a more Brian Wilson-esque approach to songwriting. Though most songs meander thoughtfully through tremolo-filled guitar passages tinted with soft-brushed cymbals, songs like "Keep It Gold" go for the more complex, forward-churning tendencies of bands like Polvo. The open spaces on songs like "Being a President Is Like Riding a Tiger" suggest that these guys have listened to some of the more organic IDM and ambient electronic music like Labradford or Aphex Twin, building textures instead of stringing along notes. Hardly a breakthrough, Language of Cities is more like a retrospective of all that was great about the last decade's instrumental rock without all the missteps that have made the genre such a cliché.

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