Mystery Tape

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By the time Woodsman arrive at the disc-closing 13-minute climax, "Smells Like Purple," it sounds like brute force compared to the album's other four tunes. The brute force is merely an illusion, though, and a welcome one. Opening Mystery Tape with a pair of decidedly post-Animal Collective jams, "Beached" and "When Morning Comes," the Denver quartet establish a rich and subtle palette that cloaks insistent rhythms with layers of instrumental haze, occasionally owing as much to Tortoise's cool minimalism as anything particularly psychedelic. On "Balance," the band's twin guitars are able providers of ambience for percussion that taps out a watery rhythm as if for a fast spooling undersea documentary before charging into "Smells Like Purple." And though positively heavy following the virtual A-side, the layers of sound atop the drums shift and part impressively, somewhere in the territory of their Krautrockin' west and east coast brethren in Wooden Shjips and Oneida.

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