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Several factors act together to lower expectations for this band. For one thing, the press materials boast of the music's "relevance" (uh oh) and characterize Fairweather's sound as "immensely organic." Then there's the title of the album's opening track: "Derivative Opener" (oh, good -- irony!). But then the utterly bizarre soundscape of that first song kicks in -- it sounds like the drone of a bomber squadron at first; then like a brutally compressed string orchestra -- and as those sounds continue to roll and moan underneath the song's weird six/eight beat and breathy, jangly melody, you gradually realize that what you're hearing are heavily treated electric guitars. At that point the song ends, and the rest of the album is just lots of good, plain old indie rock, complete with yearning melodies, messy guitars, and a boyish-voiced lead vocalist who sings with just a tantalizing hint of a fake English accent. It will come as no surprise that producer J. Robbins has previously worked with emo heartthrobs Promise Ring and Jets to Brazil, and anyone who feels an affinity for that side of the indie world will resonate immediately with Fairweather, especially such standout tracks as the anthemic "Slow to Standing" and "Burn Bridges Keep Warm." Recommended.

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