Two Guns, Twin Arrows

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Starting off with vocals that reach back to guitarist Alex Dunham's previous band Hoover, as well as original hardcore like Black Flag, Abilene embarks on a strange, jagged trip of an album that recasts shifting jazz as post-hardcore. What makes this record click where their debut fell short is the inclusion of June of 44's Fred Erskine on trumpet. On tracks like "Twisting the Trinity." Erskine tugs the song in the direction of free jazz -- Dunham, Scott Adamson, and William Ackerman first resist, but then the tune collapses into a fluid jazz sway. On "Blanc Fixe," Erskine assaults with his trumpet, calling in a smooth but piercing punk/jazz. "Fellini" sounds the most like Hoover, with Dunham shouting over spiraling riffs. It's hardly ambient, but you get the sense that is the direction Abilene is heading -- one of broad experimentalism with traditional instrumentation.

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