The Blood Group

Volunteers

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After several misfortunes for the Blood Group (including a fire, illness, theft, and "weird ghostly writing"), the band follows the Everything Forgotten Gathers at the Ceiling EP with a more realized full-length, Volunteers. It's a debut that fits well in the Le Grand Magistery catalog, with equal parts ambient pop ("Longblondehair"), and chamber pop ("Escapists"). If anything, however, Volunteers has more elements of sadcore, as James Jackson Toth and Jessica B. trade off soft and somber vocals over placid beats. Most of this shares the same forlorn tone as Black Box Recorder or the Tindersticks, with songs such as "Tongues With(in) Tongues" reveling in a doleful church organ. Guests and collaborators (including Justin Russo from Mercury Rev and Hopewell) add to the orchestrations, helping the Staten Island, New York duo to flesh out their ideas and imagery. The off-center interlude "Black Box Room" seems out of place for a record so solemn, though Volunteers goes right back into ethereal tones that would be suitable for 4AD.

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