Kid Icarus

Maps of the Saints

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Recorded back in 1998 and 1999, Maps of the Saints actually wound up following Kid Icarus' first proper album, 2002's Be My Echo. Tracked in Eric Schlittler's bedroom, this one-man band named after an antiquated Nintendo game reveals a number of influences in its infancy, including obvious touchstones like the Beatles and Robyn Hitchcock. Still, Schlittler's biggest musical devotion is to Guided by Voices, as the charming lo-fi vibe of both "Laughing Skeletons" and "Bicycle Spokes" affirm. Edgy and flooded with distortion, the latter sounds derived from GBV's "Kicker of Elves." Elsewhere, Kid Icarus is a gifted purveyor of acoustic-based rock, be it top-notch ballads like "Firecracker Girls" or the echoed, four-track trickery of "Matchsticks Dance." Closing out Maps of the Saints with "Pieces on a Board," Schlittler merges his acoustic and electric leanings with excellent results.

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