Channing Cope

Sugar in Our Blood

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    7
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Call them post-rock, call them slowcore -- jam them into whatever prefabricated genre designation you want. The fact is, Channing Cope's sound is, believe it or not, pretty unique. The relatively brisk "Blackbody Curves" opens their debut EP nicely, mapping out a sound that is approachable but complex: deliberate in a way that might evoke Red House Painters if you're over 30, laid out and logical in a way that brings to mind Sweep the Leg Johnny or maybe the Feelies at their driest. Bassist and lead singer Ali Ozkan sings with the kind of weird inflection that would be annoying if it were affected, but since he was born in Turkey and raised in Switzerland he seems to come by it naturally; whether he's drawling out a laconic observation on "Next Year" or whispering a faltering declaration on "Support the Mountain," he tends to treat the words as sound sources as much as he uses them to transmit meaning. A few of these six songs -- notably the interminable "Support the Mountain" -- drag on for longer than they ought to, but for the most part they succeed at building a strange but weirdly comforting mood using musical structures and lyrics that sound more logical than they really are. Recommended.

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