Perfect Sound Forever

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This seven-song EP is the best of the disjointed, art-damaged records that Pavement made before they became the heroes of '90s indie rockdom. Many of the band's signature sound anomalies -- pasted-together lyrics, off-tune guitars, lo-fi recording technique -- that would pop up a couple of years later on their breakthrough album, Slanted & Enchanted (not to mention all over indie rockville itself), are even more pronounced on Perfect Sound Forever. It can be a difficult listen; these aren't so much songs as they are aural ideas tossed into the air and then onto record. Yet, the audacity of the pieces (some songs end before they actually even begin), as well as the sonic brilliance that often creeps into them despite themselves, makes for an interesting guidepost as to where Pavement's noise sculptures came from and where they would eventually go.