The Rum Diary

We're Afraid of Heights Tonight

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California's Rum Diary, unfairly slapped with the dreaded -- or highly sought after, depending on your target audience -- emo tag, further their recent forays into space rock territory with the wintry We're Afraid of Heights Tonight, an 11-track headphone adventure that begins with a horn introduction right out of Band of Brothers and ends with a wind chime-induced Britpop daydream. With song titles like "My Lungs Have Never Felt Better" and "Mothball Fleet," the Radiohead comparisons are apt, but what the band delivers is less isolating and more inclusive then Kid A or OK Computer. While there are elements of electro/stereo showboating, the majority of the album is pure post-rock pop, with standout cuts like " Back in the Hardcore Days" and the nearly ten-minute epic " Sunken Fields (TL-05)" laying the foundation for the record's more gelatinous passengers. Like the 90 Day Men's Panda Park or the Rachel's Systems/Layers, Heights demands the listener's full attention and will divulge nothing of its' hidden treasures if left on shuffle.

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