Useless Landscape/Summer

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Movietone records are nightmare lullabies -- bubbling just under the songs' gentle, soothing surfaces are sinister currents of chaos and confusion. "Useless Landscape" is in many respects the band's most structured, conventional single to date -- the melody never breaks down or fractures, but even as it builds to its hypnotic climax, the music is seared by ominously off-kilter bursts of clarinet and nervy, jagged guitar textures that together generate a palpable sense of tension. The instrumental "Summer" is even more unsettling, its stark, desolate sound bearing no trace whatsoever of the sunshine and warmth its title would seem to promise.