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The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads

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How's this for a concept album: three musicians from Denton, TX, with the help of former Cocteau Twins Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde, blend My Bloody Valentine's sonic feedback with Kitchens of Distinction's swirling atmosphere and the grace of Jeff Buckley to detail the "crossroads of Texas and Jerusalem." What could have been a tiresome exploration of awkward religious theories is instead a spellbinding journey into the heart of human emotion and guitar dynamics. Josh T. Pearson's beautifully controlled croon works dark magic over arrangements that suggest and depict both the whisper of birth and the fury of Armageddon. When the band kicks things into gear, they take off into bold, thrilling musical vistas without a single fear that they'll be misinterpreted or mocked. Highlights include the evocative thunderstorm of "Falling From Cloud 9," the ten-minute history of the world that is "With Crippled Wings," the fascinating brimstone of "These Are the Days," and the brutal storyteller-style warnings that span all sorts of musical genres on "Into the Storm." The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads mixes poetic imagery with controlled feedback and emotional expression like few albums outside of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. It's a magnificent yet somehow subtle work of genius that delivers its strange message with incredible innovation and an inspiring feeling of a groundbreaking mission accomplished.

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