Marlborough Farms

The Ladybug Transistor

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Marlborough Farms Review

by Jon Pruett

The way this record begins, with chunks of sloppy guitar work and lackadaisical vocals delivered in a vaguely awake state, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was going to be another record made in the wake of Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted. Although this is indeed the truth, Ladybug Transistor manage to shake free of those ties by the other end of the album. Combining the guitar effects of My Bloody Valentine with a harmonies pulled from your favorite '60s songbook, the band manage to make a strong, extremely addictive debut record that shows their influences clearly, but leaves a new, indelible voice behind. On "Magic Forest Report," the band combine psychedelic oscillations with off-kilter boy-girl harmonies and a propulsive rhythm, while "Sneedle" is a fast-paced pop song covered in warm feedback and interstellar aspirations. "Seadrift" is a well-orchestrated combination of Ride and the Beach Boys, while "Blaze" pouts with melody and guitar effects. "Land" is spaced-out rock with some buzzing guitars and heavenly vocal lines, and on the space country blues of "95 Miles Per Hour," the band invoke the ghosts of Rolling Stones past with just a touch of Spiritualized. With tracks like these, it's easy to see how the band evolved into the more baroque pop space they would inhabit on later records.

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