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It's understandable that Lungfish might sound a little tired after 13 years of punk innovation. Whether or not the slow-motion stance of this, the group's eighth release, is interesting is another question entirely. This query can be answered with a resounding "maybe." Of course, interest generally depends on the individual, but there are a few empirical observations about this album that aren't easily disputable. For starters, the tempo and temperament of Necrophones is subdued. This mellowing sharpens the focus on Daniel Higgs' obtuse lyrical patterns, which are as broad and codified as ever. Some find mystical balance in Higgs' non-linear, almost random poetry, while others howl about a perceived nonsensical verbosity. This interpretive envelope is what Necrophones seems designed to push, as Lungfish has finally graduated from the school of post-punk sonic deconstruction. Nothing was left to conquer but the language of discontent itself and, as the objectives have become more subtle, the verdict has become more subjective as well. Listeners simply have to trust that Higgs and his band aren't trying to fool anybody. This kind of trust doesn't come easy in the rock underground. Fans will appreciate Necrophones; purists and cynics won't.

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