Salt Sinks & Sugar Floats

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From the opening snare of "Impossible Waste," it becomes obvious that 764-HERO isn't exactly about originality. And the rest of the album doesn't do anything to disprove that claim, instead cementing it as fact. 764-HERO's music just isn't groundbreaking by anyone's standards -- they just sound like a conglomeration of all the various Northwest area bands of the '90s. It seems they make music by the equation: Built to Spill + Pavement + Rainer Maria + Modest Mouse = 764-HERO. And while the idea of Isaac Brock and Stephen Malkmus jamming with Doug Martsch seems like an indie rock fan's fantasy, this isn't the real thing. Instead of that ubergroup, it's just a self-conscious, pale imitation of what they might sound like. The album is full of these impressions; "Sliding" could be a Wowee Zowee outtake, while "Loner Getaway Car" has all the grind of Built to Spill without any of the tenderness. Why listen to "John Atkins does Pavement" when you can buy Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain?

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