Inventing Edward

We've Met an Impasse: By Midninght We'll Be Naked

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Bay area sonic experimentalists Inventing Edward mix the gloomy splendour of Godspeed You Black Emperor! or Low with the dub-inspired trippiness of Portishead or Massive Attack, with just a touch of Joy Division's primal throb and Adrian Sherwood's cross-genre playfulness. As long as they're working a purely instrumental brand of semi-experimental art-rock, We've Met an Impasse: By Midnight We'll Be Naked is a powerful, occasionally breathtaking album. Its when the vocalists, a variety of sub-Lisa Gerrard warblers and pretentious spoken word hipsters, step in that it all falls apart, as on the irritating monologue at the center of "No Set Combination" and the haphazard "Fuck Being Burned Alive." Luckily, even the songs with some vocal parts are primarily instrumental, so tracks like "Constant Reminder" (which has the creepy grandeur of Meddle-era Pink Floyd) can overcome the dopey lyrics and mannered vocals, and extended workouts like the 14-minute closer "Go Dawn Fire" reach an almost King Crimson-like art-rock frenzy.

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