Missouri Compromise

Creation of Maine

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Chicago quartet the Missouri Compromise's debut album mostly colors inside the indie rock lines, but with enough creativity that they end up sounding like more than the sound of those influences. Those influences certainly make their presence felt; singer David Vlasits sounds eerily like a less arch version of Stephen Malkmus, and emo-by-numbers tracks like "Directions" are familiar enough that the astute listener can tell exactly where the standard soft-to-loud-to-soft dynamic shifts are coming. But then the group will come out with a song as wonderful as the opening, "Boys Need Product Too," where the group's other lead singer, Dan Schiller, underlines the rhythm section's wound-up forward motion with the kind of creepy-crawly organ sounds last heard in the late-'80s crop of Velvet Underground-inspired New Zealand indie bands, or the epic closer "Peter Greenaway," which with its jagged feedback, fractured structure and near-whispered vocals sounds almost more like Slint than Slint does. Creation of Maine is a debut by a young band who sound like they have much better records in them, but it's just intriguing and off-kilter enough to make it worthwhile.

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