down MF

The Law of Diminishing Returns

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It's nice to know some things never change, and despite taking a few years off from music, moving from Lansing, MI, to Philadelphia, and dramatically revamping the lineup of his band Down MF, Scott Sendra remains firmly obsessed with the self-fulfilling prophesy of his own obscurity. Six year after the release of the album Will Failure Spoil Down MF?, Sendra and Down MF return with The Law of Diminishing Returns, a CD-EP and 7" single set in which the 45 literally destroys itself -- the single sleeve is lined with sandpaper, which means the vinyl arrives practically unplayable the first time you put it on the turntable (indeed, the A-side of my copy, "Cessation of Desire," was already too mangled to track the first time I played it). While it might be easy to dismiss this as some sort of performance art trick, the better-packaged CD leaves little doubt this ranks with Down MF's finest work -- a shade more melodic and a good bit more sonically broad and instrumentally varied than Down MF's previous recordings, The Law of Diminishing Returns still honors Sendra's obsession with bad love, cruel fate, and the detritus of post-teenage pop culture while giving his music a bit more room to move, which has only made it stronger and more powerful. (Multi-instrumentalist Damian Elias brings plenty of color to these sessions without intruding on the jagged overall tone, and Peter Hanley and Janna Sendra make for a potent rhythm section.) Despite what Sendra might think, The Law of Diminishing Returns is a Down MF record well worth preserving -- in fact, it may well be their finest moment on plastic.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2
blue highlight denotes track pick