Skyscraper Frontier

Moonlit Behavior

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The debut by Los Angeles trio Skyscraper Frontier is difficult to categorize, in a good way. Unlike bands who put lines like "We don't sound like any other bands around today" (translation: "We sound like every band who has been on the Pitchfork front page for the last six months") or "Our music is our own unique blend of styles" (translation: "which happens to sound exactly like whatever mall-punk band is getting the most licensing deals from the CW"), Skyscraper Frontier genuinely does bring in some unexpected influences. Although they all start from a fairly standard indie rock template (think Radiohead), "Your Hazy Mind" makes good use of a pedal steel guitar, the centerpiece track "Catatonic Citizens" sounds like a post-millennial take on those Electric Light Orchestra album tracks where Jeff Lynne let his love of 1967-1969 Beatles albums run wild, and the epic "I Know You Know" features an rather psychedelic slide guitar solo and a breakdown part for organ, vocals, and tom-toms that has an unmistakable early-'70s Pink Floyd vibe. The seven mostly fairly lengthy songs are put together well and flow nicely, although the pointless two-minute "Interlude" (imagine a vacuum cleaner droning away three rooms away) could easily have been eliminated prior to the lovely melancholy of the final track, a solo piano instrumental called "Alone at the Hospital" that ends the record on a down note.

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