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This self-described "pop record without words" by the now disbanded, Toronto-based Verve merchants doesn't hide in the shoegazing haze for long as it sways between ambitious feedback panorama and methodical instrumentation at every chord change it comes across. Which is part of the problem. The influences are blunt -- Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, any band with too many foot pedals -- but whereas some of these progenitors could project all sorts of guzzling madness onto such abstractions, southpacific seems too enamored with their own lumbering melodies to come away with any soul. At least there's one high watermark. A bumpy swash of the guitar/drum base, "Life Illusion" uses clumsiness as its virtue, helpfully pointing out how the rest of the album examines melody so closely -- so slowly -- that stodginess rears its ugly head time and again. 33 feels like a doctor dissecting a little girl to see why she has the mumps.

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