Gary War

Horribles Parade

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If Gary War is living up to his name, he's doing so with the spirit that all such wars should be simultaneously fought with old electronics, cotton candy, and plenty of drugs. Beginning with the overdriven synth noise and merriment of "Highspeed Drift," Horribles Parade sounds like something that's a kissing cousin to the Ariel Pink school of lo-fi pop as much as part of the Sacred Bones empire, spooky and giddy at the same time. It couldn't be more appropriate for a 21st century strain of indie music that thinks that the only thing missing from some of the wilder synth pop experiments of a previous generation was more phasing and vocals buried under watery reverb. A song like "Costumes," with its suddenly clear chorus of "All day long," helps play up the idea of some kind of dressing up and pose via music -- that War is putting on a performance is clear, after all, but so is the joy in the muddied results of that creation. Hearing the burbling on the chorus of "Sold Out" and "Nothing Moving" intrigues because meaning is close and sometimes apparent, but then falls apart and away again almost just as quickly. Occasional moments of relative clarity, like the opening guitar line of "No Payoff" and the steady, slow funk pace of "What You Are," help show up the contrast of the robot-gone-trippy feeling of everything else around it. Meanwhile, "For Cobra" could almost be a power ballad equivalent for the release, with the vocals lost in the extreme swirls while a gentle hum and zone hold down the further beeps and strange noises echoing off into the unknown. The CD version contains the Galactic Citizens EP released on Captured Tracks as well as the single "Anhedonic Man" for an enjoyable bonus.

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