Bologna, Italy's Settlefish may never break the indie rock mold, but with its atmospheric presentation, chiming guitar fascination, and a vocalist who sounds like a dead ringer for Tom DeLonge of blink-182 when he's not channeling Mars Volta/At the Drive-In barker Cedric Bixler, the group gives fans of the style plenty of reasons to be cheerful. That's not to say Canadian-bred singer Jonathan Clancy is on happy pills; he's more of a lovelorn guy as evidenced by demonstrative set-opener "Kissing Is Chaos" and the winning ballad "Getting the Clicks Out of Our Hearts." Tempering experimental, discordant indie rock with alluring melodies isn't the easiest task, but Settlefish and producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse/Iron & Wine) capably construct their art. It's not surprising, based on Deck's pedigree, that "The Barnacle Beach" sounds like it could be a collaboration with Isaac Brock and company. And while calculated 45-second vignettes like "Sparrow You Will Fly" frustrate more than they should, The Plural of the Choir succeeds by and large.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen