Tomorrow's Fossils

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On their third album, Tomorrow's Fossils, Loxsly, having grown out of being a solo project by singer/keyboardist Cody Ground into a full-fledged group, come off as very much a creature of the recording studio. The band's sound is simultaneously sophisticated and primitivist. On the one hand, Ground and his associates make extensive use of the possibilities of sound manipulation and editing available in the studio. Ground's voice and the various instruments are subject to extensive filtering and lots of mixing tricks, and the arrangements, which tend to center on Ground's various keyboards, change radically from moment to moment. Within a single song, tempos, instruments, and the overall sound picture may shift suddenly. On the other hand, all these changing sounds have an off-the-cuff, thrown-together feel. For example, "You & I Were Working" has lots of atmospheric background noise, including an occasional beeping sound (as if a microwave were signaling that the food is ready), as it goes through four distinct sections, beginning with a piano accompaniment to Ground's vocal, then going on to an ambient section with a pulsing bass and echoing guitar notes, then what sounds like a kalimba solo, and finally a highly produced choral section accompanied by acoustic guitar. This ADD approach to arrangement tends to obscure the lyrics Ground sings in his high, soft-spoken tenor, which have a whimsicality, as he discusses his bicycle, his pet lab rat, "Clicking Feet," or just the melancholy of being "Sunk Alone." The dangers here, of course, are preciousness and pretentiousness, and Loxsly do not sidestep those pitfalls entirely. But then, this music is like the weather. Even if you don't like what you're listening to now, it won't be long before it changes to something else.

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