Fall Electric

Measure and Step

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On Measure and Step, Fall Electric play a spare, stripped-down rock that's neither lo-fi nor roots music as such -- instead, they resemble a calmer, reflective version of acts like the Black Watch, with strings a key part of the instrumentation but playing engaging songs that often start from acoustic guitar rather than electric. Instrumental numbers like the opening "Sliding" and the self-explanatory "Segue" further set the tone on the album, suggesting formal, lush explorations (the way the latter song suddenly blooms in its second half is especially striking). Lead singer Andrew Ryan's voice has the calm, self-possessed sense of a singer like Butterfly Child's Joe Cassidy, a bit sprightlier at points as a song like "Plastic Rabbits" shows, but not without a sense of hidden depths. Songs such as "3 AM" and "Cold Bahama" sketch out slice-of-life situations well, but it's the music that comes to the fore time and again, an easy swing that drummer Pete Guazzelli carefully carries with authority, bursting out in full only when he needs to rather than as a matter of course.

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