Joss

If Not for the Hovering...

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On If Not for the Hovering... indie rockers Joss rest sultry, jazz-tinged romps like "Good Weather" alongside minimalist, riff-sturdy keepers like "MM." Although the upbeat "Mojave Desert Highrise" -- complete with jagged chords, military drumming and distorted vocals -- is both bold and inviting, nothing here can beat the self-deprecating sway of "Rumour of a Monkey Clown." There's an intoxicating lure beneath that song's oddball proclamations (like "[I'm] stealing looks from a boogie down laundrymat") that keep otherwise solid tunes like "Mooncake" and the The-inspired "Careless" from measuring up. But Joss have plenty to be proud of with If Not for the Hovering..., despite the fact that the dour, late album offering "Good Grace" is a sluggish, endless stab at art rock.

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