Zabrinksi

Yeti

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Not exactly named after the Amon Duul II album -- but agreeably spaced-out in its own way -- Yeti finds the Welsh sextet whipping up a series of energetic, inspired songs that find a balance between older and more modern turns on psychedelia, as inspired by frenetic techno or electronic explorations as by zoned-out solos. The whispered vocals and acoustic guitar over bubbling synth moans and slow drum stomps on "Pan Pan, Vino Vino" would make plenty of old prog rockers happy, but wisely Zabrinski isn't out for simple revival. If Radiohead gets plaudits for its own take on rock meeting beats, Zabrinski readily demonstrates its own more straightforward but equally inspired vision. A song like "Mishi Brei," with its nonsensical yet inspired chant chorus backed by a hot-wired stomp swathed in buzzing synths, suggests what happens when Haight-Ashbury hits the laptop generation -- perhaps inevitable when another track is called "Download My Files." "Bullied Into Boxing" in particular tips its hat in an IDM direction, with its stuttering, crisp beats and soothing, warm tones -- what for many bands would be an excursion is a natural progression in Zabrinski's case. More than once the band's varying fusions turn into their own masterpieces -- "Freedom of the Hiway" manages to suggest everything from Aphex Twin to the Flaming Lips to New Order to early glam epics and more. All of which doesn't really hint at the way guitarist Matt Durbridge's vocals, low-key but impassioned, work against the bittersweet descent of the main melody, even as the drums click and then pound along and the keyboards surge into a beautiful glaze. At other points the group is just out to entertainingly and straightforwardly rock, and there's no way to easily resist the squiggly voiced big-scaled Krautrock chug of "3968."

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