New Points New Lines

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With their second full-length, New Points New Lines, Chicago transplants Toulouse dish out more of their signature bouncy drum-and-bass-driven indie rock. Occasionally rambling, somewhat detached vocals mixed inconspicuously among jumpy basslines call to mind groups like the Talking Heads. The guitars tend toward being perky, minimal, and jazzy, and a female voice provides a counterpoint for the casual Rivers Cuomo-meets-David Berman and David Byrne-esque male lead, singing lines that are effective more as texture or instrumentation than as a lyrical contribution. A unique presence in a rapidly stagnating indie pop scene, Toulouse's innovative musical phrasings are the sounds of a new underground. Comparisons have been drawn to acts like the Young Marble Giants, and rightly so. Others who share Toulouse's vision of quirky avant-jazz pop could include the Wedding Present and the Nectarine No. 9, though the music also shows glimpses of the Minutemen.

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