Salaryman

Karoshi

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Salaryman's second album, recorded with the same lineup as the first -- the Poster Children side-stepping their musical day jobs -- is at once more focused and more immediately explosive than the self-titled debut, though it preserves much of the same spirit. While again successfully avoiding simply replicating the Poster Children's own particular style of music, the emphasis is less on lengthy, dreamy textures, and more on rocking out in a post-rock kinda way. Drummer Howie Kantoff in particular really gets to go to town this time out -- while he had his moments on Salaryman, right from the start on "Strong Holder," he's clattering and rollicking all over the place, playing a kind of power rock that never, per sé, rocks. But it's that 'considered from the side' aspect which has made Salaryman such a fun listen -- the quartet is out to have its cake and eat it too, with its implicit tweaking of the facelessness and po-faced nature of the post-rock cliché never equating to a half-assed job on the music. Once again, bemusing song titles help in setting the mood ("My Dog Has Fleas," "Dull Normal"). Meanwhile, the inclusion of sometimes giddy -- or downright merry -- touches make songs like "The Companion" (thanks to apparent harp samples and a fun lead synth melody) fun, and give the listener something to dance to rather than nod sagely at. Turned around, though, once again there are plenty of moody, murky, tones and space in the songs that make it something equally danceable and blissed out, and while TV samples aren't used constantly as before, every so often something bubbles up. As with "Voids and Superclusters" on the debut, the strong, snarling drones on "My Hands Are Always in Water" and the title track, provide the basis for some truly trippy jams that end up being the best on the album.

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