Love and Affliction

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Consonant was formed by Clint Conley to serve as the yin to Mission of Burma's yang, which is to say consonant ("being in agreement or harmony") rather than dissonant ("lack of agreement"). Not surprisingly, Consonant doesn't sound exactly like MoB, but there are still more similarities than differences. Their sophomore release, Love and Affliction, may not qualify, for instance, as punk, but "post-punk" fits quite nicely -- especially since the quartet includes members of such leading post-punk lights as Codeine, Bedhead, and Silkworm. The album was also produced by Bob Weston (Shellac) and features contributions from artist/poet Holly Anderson, both of whom worked with Burma. That said, Consonant is a more melodic beast. They rock almost as hard as Conley's old band, but there's less angst and fewer sharp edges. Lyrical highlights include "Ripped straight out of car pool and/Put up on the big stage" (from "Mysteries of the Holiday Camp"), which sums up the 19-year gap between Conley's former music career and his present one, and "I rush to beat the school bus/Can't stand another hour/Without their precious smiles" (from "Cry"), which explains at least one of the reasons for his "long weekend" between bands -- he became a father to two girls. He also suffered from an extreme case of writer's block which, to judge by the evidence on display throughout Love and Affliction, has finally been cured.

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