Honey Radar

Ruby Puff of Dust

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Honey Radar's second album for What's Your Rupture? is even more fragmented and shattered sounding than their first, which is really saying something. Blank Cartoon was lo-fi and fantastic, Ruby Puff of Dust is below-fi and just as good. The songs are short and sweet (mostly) with diamond-bright hooks, strangely baroque melodies, and so much grit it feels like a spin through a rock tumbler is necessary to polish it enough so that styluses won't be mercilessly shredded. As usual with the band, there's plenty of Guided by Voices-style mini-mod in the mix, some Elephant 6 whimsy, psychedelic weirdness, and garage rock strut, too. The album moves in fits and starts; sometimes Jason Henn and the band let the songs come to a natural conclusion, sometimes they fade out abruptly -- at times they even seem to start in the middle. It's a slightly bewildering listening experience that's hard to get a handle on, but it's a lot of fun trying. Henn proves yet again that he's a master of writing songs that stick even as they barely have time to take off before the landing gear comes out. "Kite Balloons"' jagged-edged romp sounds like Apples in Stereo with an attitude problem, "Almanac Singer" is a gentle psych-garage tune with some nasty-sounding guitar work, "Magnesium Blow-up" is a noise-blasted song that gives the record some bite, and "Cornflake ESP"'s gentle melody and bright arrangement show off the band's tender side nicely. The variety of the songs listed above gives notice that even with a running time that barely lasts over 20 minutes, the group cover a lot of stylistic ground. Blank Cartoon was a brilliant introduction to the lo-fi world of Honey Radar; Ruby Puff of Dust is another fine record that's unerringly melodic, sonically quite bracing, and perfect for a short-attention-span world.

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