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Moth Nor Rust

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Something about this release promises a certain something -- it might be the IDM-friendly packaging of the album, the varying instrument credits for the quintet (electronics, clarinet, sampler, and more), even the fact that God is openly thanked and credited throughout. Expectations don't always reflect reality completely, though, and Moth Nor Rust is, in the end, a puzzlement. Jazz fusion more than anything else appears to drive the band, and certainly songs like "Intersection" and "B.J.'s Lament" have a certain post-electric Miles bent to them, albeit in a very understated fashion. Still, one has to think that if squalling electric guitar solos and horn freakouts are desired, then there will always be copies of Bitches Brew and Dark Magus there for the world, considering these efforts are nice and all but hardly gripping. However, promising moments crop up enough that further investigation can be warranted. "Anaerobic Communication," with a mournful, radio-signal guitar line matched with a steady funk/jazz rhythm, brings an attractive subtlety to the fore, slowly mutating into other improvisations over eight minutes without suddenly rocking out. Meanwhile, "Letting, Pt. 1" has a gentle, soothing synth part setting a calm tone over an equally low-key but still active enough drum/trumpet jam, while a similar keyboard part helps to make two more tracks worthwhile: "While Walking" and, unsurprisingly, "Letting, Pt. 2," which has a little more overall activity going at the same contemplative pace. Not the end of the world but not simply something to shrug at in the end.