Army of Soundwaves

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As if the presence of a long-haired shirtless beardy dude on the front cover wasn't enough of a signifier, there's a psychedelic kinship between Iceland's Lokbra and their Scandinavian brethren the Soundtrack of Our Lives and Motorpsycho. However, with the exception of the epic freakout closer "Nosirrah Egroeg," this quartet puts its progressive rock influences in a more contemporary musical setting: Mercury Rev's brand of neo-psych pop is an equally obvious touchstone on the slower, spacier songs, as is classic-era Radiohead. Meanwhile, harder-rocking songs like "Stop the Music" and the jaunty "Ride the Walrus" feature prominent, almost danceable rhythms that bear some similarity to the current crop of neo-post-punk dance-rockers following in Franz Ferdinand's wake. The combination of psychedelic guitar and organ textures, modern beats, and unexpected stylistic detours like the mandolin and harmonica-driven "Conference of Rats" makes Army of Soundwaves a fairly unique and entirely enjoyable listen.

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