Thingy

To the Innocent

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The indie world breeds numerous four-band, self-produced, writer/musician auteurs, and perhaps Rob Crow is one of the most underrated. On To the Innocent, Crow plays vocals and guitars along with Elea Tenuta, his partner from the marginally popular Heavy Vegetable. Here the two assemble soft melodies and meticulous guitar work, along with cheap rhythm machines, to create a hovering symphony of understatement. Crow's gift is his knack for subtlety, which he rides endlessly on To the Innocent. Tracks like "Big Dumb Animal" exemplify this lo-fi aesthetic while accentuating the slow beauty of Crow's instrumental sensibility. What's most impressive is his attention to craft, both in terms of cheap production and unpredictable songwriting. Certain comparisons could be made to Unrest as both bands' main men (Crow and Unrest's Mark Robinson) work on numerous projects, but maintain their slow and darkly lit indie rock passions with aplomb. The tunes are constructed so simply that they leave a lot of room to hear the nuances that Crow places within their framework; small repetitive guitar runs ("Plenty"), male/female vocal harmonizing ("Rope Swing"), twists in time signatures ("Sunset"), and traditional childish indie-popisms ("Ketchup Sandwiches" and "Letter Bomb"). All in all, To the Innocent is a beautiful indie record that won't receive near as much attention as it deserves.

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