Avey Tare / Kria Brekkan

Pullhair Rubeye

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This collaboration from Avey Tare and Kria Brekkan (aka Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir) -- who share both a personal and professional partnership -- makes for an interesting if ultimately one-note listen. To their credit, the disc is neither Múm nor Animal Collective redux (why try something different and not actually sound it, after all?). But Pullhair Rubeye is a good example of an album starting off startlingly well and then not going far beyond the bounds set up in that initial step. The opening song, "Sis Around the Sandmill," is a striking piece of haunting murk, a collage of loops both instrumental and, seemingly, vocal, though Brekkan's singing takes an intriguing lead role, a backward-masked approach that hovers just on the edge of comprehensibility. Having established that, the rest of Pullhair Rubeye proceeds to be variations on the theme -- not a crime, but it makes the album hard to talk about beyond it being just that; if you like one song on it, you will like the rest. As a result, it's less an album to appreciate for the songs as for the moments, when a gentle wash of treated guitar suddenly provides a sweet counterpoint to the miasma of sound or, as on the opening of "Palenka," the skittering notes sound almost like a frenetic bee in a mirrored funhouse. Hearing Tare's voice step to the fore on songs like "Opís Helpus" provides an enjoyable contrast, while the full-on chipmunk-vocal approach on "Sasong" is an amusing logical endpoint for this approach as a whole. That this will likely be lapped up as manna from heaven for the hardcore fan base of the bands the two are from is understandable, but this is a gentle diversion more than anything else, pleasant but not life-changing.

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