Strange Loop

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Strange Loop is one of few dreampop-meets-American-rock albums that actually fare decently -- the band's smooth and atmospheric rock sound sports airy percussion, a no-attack guitar swell, and hooky, trebly basslines that typically manage to get past their crunchy Americanisms and lend an unassuming warmth to their Britpop influences. None of this makes for a spectacular record, though -- Strange Loop may be a pleasant listen, but it's other Edsel releases that manage to bring something idiosyncratic and interesting to the band's sound -- The Everlasting Belt Co. stands is a straight-out rock record that lacks the muddled influences of Strange Loop, and Techniques of Speed Hypnosis has an intelligent level of reserve that lets both of the band's sides shine.