Metalux

Waiting for Armadillo

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Waiting for Armadillo doesn't make much sense as a title -- something about an armadillo queen is drenched in reverb and hard to decipher in the first song, "Flexi - Armadillo," but after repeated listening the idea of the armored rodent's arrival becomes a foreboding event. Haunting keyboards, electronic buzzes, and disembodied, filtered vocal howls are pitted against drum-machine dirges, shaggy guitars, and video game bleeps in the cavernous sound that Metalux have created for their second full-length release. The vocals are dire in the way that Arto Lindsay's were with DNA, building tension in their command of space; however, Metalux are more inclined to let the tension remain rather than slicing it into no wave bits like their predecessors. The synth lines build crooked spines for many of the songs, most of which are without percussion, recalling the Residents and the mutant song forms that they often use. Occasional Metalux collaborator James "Twig" Harper of Nautical Almanac shows up on three of the tracks here for some high-pitched electronic tweaking. The results are messy and not always engaging, but that actually works to the band's advantage as listeners are drawn into a disturbing daydream -- or more accurately drawn through a haunted house where the sublime and shocking walk hand in hand.

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