The '89 Cubs

There Are Giants in the Earth

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The debut album by the '89 Cubs -- the best band named after a specific year's baseball team since the Mets-inspired the Miracle of '86 -- starts off most promisingly with the slowly-unfolding "Candid Flames," a post-rock bliss-out with softly chanted vocals, and the even better, electronics-and-detuned-guitars-enhanced "Oh the Things We Put in Our Heads." The Nebraska-based trio then lose their way a bit, wandering from the enchanting jangle-drone of "Unpopular Meals" to the half-baked Fugazi rip-off "We Won the Party," an uncharacteristic and slightly annoying song that really doesn't fit with the rest of the album at all. The album rights itself again by the end, with the lengthy buildup and slow climax of the brooding "Burn the Boats," but with a little judicious self-editing and a clearer sense of where the band's strengths lie (more of the experimental streak shown in the found-sound interlude "Treason Parade-Hat Wearers" would be an excellent start), the '89 Cubs could go all the way.

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