On its seven-song debut, Detroit's A Thousand Times Yes impresses with a challenging and impressive effort. The disc's opening track, "Night Ends With Light," teases and soothes with gentle keyboards, Casper von Hoffman's subtle vocal interplay with Andrea Fontana, and Lull Tucker and Sparx add rhythm to the mix on drums and bass, respectively. The mostly toned-down opener shows a different side of the band's usually raucous live performances. The pace picks up on upbeat, folk-rich gems like "Written With Hooves and a Soviet Compass," "Quiet Kids!," and "I Don't Name the Songs." Sparx leads the way on vocals on "Sign Up for La Las," sharing vocal duties with Hoffman. The song is a roller coaster, including harmonica and a furious instrumental shift in the middle. The album ends with the calm cheer of "We Believe It Involved Cookies" and the restrained and contemplative grace of "Wicked Plane," which includes a spoken-word performance by Tucker and a sparse musical backdrop. The highlight of Laser Guns and Lassoes is the band's brazenly experimental style, offering startling chord changes and changing the pace and direction of some of the songs without a moment's notice. Subtitled "The Weaponry of Modern Life," the band impresses with a unique mix of delicacy and aggression, straight-up indie rock, and passionate flare. Fontana left the band soon after the release of Laser Guns and Lassoes, and the band marched on as a trio, releasing the follow-up Michigan two years later.
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