Windsor for the Derby

We Fight Til Death

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    5
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Working at their own pace in the Indiana-based home studio of Dan Burton, Windsor for the Derby's Dan Matz and Jason McNeely seem to have established an anything goes mentality. We Fight Til Death swings between elongated post-rock experiments and vaguely tense, concise indie. It has its moments, to be sure, but also suffers from detachment, like a sonic daydream. Fragilely delivered, opaque lyrics mar this Death, getting in the way of instrumentation that's always organic, precise, and inviting. Luckily then, Windsor for the Derby includes songs like opener "Melody of a Fallen Tree," an eight-minute controlled burn that builds from a consistent guitar rattle and breathy organ into what sounds like a tickling post-rock tribute to New Order. There are some weak vocals in there, but the jamming overtakes them. Same goes for "Nightingale." "The Door Is Red" is a contemplative piece that winds spidery, faraway guitar through an insistent drumbeat, while "Flight" spends a few minutes on the tonal, hesitant plain, garnering Windsor's usual comparison to Labradford. The title track and "Black Coats" spike this relative tranquility with screechy distortion and the angular, compressed rhythms of post-punk, and "A Spring Like Sixty"'s warm acoustic strumming, pretty violin, and quite gorgeous, languid pace offers yet another side of the group's sound. We Fight Til Death gets distracted easily; all of its ideas are great, but they don't always come to fruition. Still, that same gripe might actually attract listeners who like schizophrenic albums.

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