Now You Are This

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It can't be easy combining the clean efficiency of the best Krautrock with some of the loudest guitar skronk in indie rock, but the San Francisco trio Numbers don't sound fazed at all by the dichotomy. Eric Landmark wields an array of synthesizers (usually humming or oscillating in discordant Broadcast fashion) while Dave Broekema's guitars scream and yowl, leaving a small amount of space left for the vocals of Indra Dunis. Now You Are This actually begins in (relatively) orderly fashion, with an opener ("New Life") that starts with restrained contributions from all three members. It soon becomes clear, however, that they're ramping up to something -- namely, a raucous, bashing, somehow cathartic finale to the song with Dunis yelping the title over and over. "Mind Hole" and "Fly on the Window" are just as bracing, the latter an uplifting epic with chords that gradually rise over Dunis' simplistic vocals and some atonal whistling. It's fair to say that Numbers don't lack for ideas; every track on this record features its own raft of innovative synthesizer lines or guitar work, as well as great interplay between each. The similarities to Stereolab and Broadcast are only accentuated here compared to their previous work, but the intensity of the distortion and the raw playing lift Now You Are This far above the status of mere imitation.

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