Stars as Eyes

Loud New Shit

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One-third new material and two-thirds remixes of songs from their second album, Enemy of Fun, Stars as Eyes' Loud New Shit takes the duo's sound in several different directions that fit together surprisingly well. As with Enemy of Fun, new songs like "Rotten" and "Guardian of Cemetaries" are brighter and more immediate than their earlier work, but this time around the band seems even more comfortable working within a pop context. The chiming, buzzy electro-pop of "Some Life" even includes vocals, while "Song With the Word Disco in the Title"'s bells and handclaps add a witty and danceable spin to the track. Several of the remixes pick up on this kinetic new direction: Shy Child's remix of "Falling Picture" turns the song from an abrasively mechanical instrumental to something approaching a party jam with live drums and shout-along choruses. "OK Grades," Stars as Eyes' own remix of the springy, melancholy pop of "Suspension Days," infuses the track with some retro-disco style, making it sound like an improbable but successful collaboration between Daft Punk and the Durutti Column. Likewise, "Indelicate," the Electric Company mix of "Delicate," eschews the glitchiness of most Electric Company tracks. Instead, its stuttering rhythms and dreamy samples sound like something Boards of Canada might whip up if they wanted to hit the dancefloor. The collection takes a more atmospheric turn near the end, with "La Méthode Française [Dwayne Sodahberk Remix]" reconciling Stars as Eyes' obsessions with synth pop, glitch, and dream pop beautifully and Múm's "Resistance Days" sending "Suspension Days" into the ether with dreamy, distant sweetness. Loud New Shit saves its most extreme track for last: "Time Dilation [Main 'Our Light' Remix]" is faithful to both its name and Main's reputation, stretching "Our Light"'s dreamy noise into a barely recognizable but compelling ten-minute undulation. While some have complained that Stars as Eyes' work lacks focus and an identity of its own, Loud New Shit proves that the duo's own voice is indeed emerging -- even if it's with the help of other acts.

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