The High Highs the Low Lows

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Led by Steve Koester, Koester's sophomore record, The High Highs the Low Lows, is a contemporary space rock trip through territory similar to that covered by Spiritualized, Radiohead, and Sparklehorse. Even when traversing the self-described "high highs," the music tends toward the mopey side of things. Koester's voice rides atop a dark band, with synthesizers and sound effects providing mid-range drones underneath. The music borders on druggy, though it never quite surrenders to abandon, which is both a blessing and a curse. The High Highs the Low Lows is carefully controlled and meticulously constructed, though it never quite finds its way to peaks or valleys. There is precious little chaos. And though the disc may be about a wide range of emotions, it rarely directly conveys those emotions through the music. Still, the songs are well done and there's a good deal of depth to be found in them.

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