Strunken White

Paths and Points of Existence

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It's easy to forgive certain things in a very young rock & roll band. A fake British accent, for example. Also, song titles like "Paths and Points of Existence" and "Intent of a Sculpture." Mistakes like that are easy to forgive, that is, as long as the music is fun. The problem is, Strunken White's music sounds like it's probably lots of fun for them to play -- those whiplash time signature changes, those five-minute-plus song lengths, all that clever wordplay (think back to college English, then say the band name out loud to yourself) -- but it's just not much fun to listen to. For one thing, the songs don't typically go anywhere; they sit on a single one- or two-chord riff for awhile, then sit on another one for awhile, and then the song's over. "Honest Contradiction" gets the blood moving pretty well, and the math rock intricacy is its own reward on "Drive on Thought," and throughout the album there are lots of individually fine guitar moments. But none of it coheres into something that you'd want to spend a whole 40 minutes listening to from end to end. For smarty-pants guitar hounds and aging Sonic Youth fans only.