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Your Voice Repeating

Your Voice Repeating
(The Record Machine)

Some may argue against me, but I still say that the heartland of the United States is a fertile ground for musical imaginations. While the cultural options in terms of entertainment are sometimes lacking, it's that very notion that actually works as an advantage to some. Instead of having so many things going on that it reaches the point of distraction, some artists can simply lock themselves in and work on creating interesting music. If you don't believe me, look no further than the tiny island of Iceland and the music that have flowed out of it in the past 5 years.

Admittingly, Iceland might not be the best comparison simply because there haven't been as many big-name bands arrive of of that middle swath of the United States (not including Texas). Sure, the Flaming Lips are from Oklahoma, but they've been around for over a decade and you can probably count the number of other fairly well-known bands on one hand or so. While Namelessnumberheadman (no relation to Dubnobasswithmyheadman) may not gain as much success as the aforementioned band, this second album from the group from Kansas City is a great mix of guitar-driven indie rock crossed with a smattering of electronic programming.

The release opens with "Time Has Pulled Away," and the track basically feels like a prelude to the follower of "Every Fiber," which melds bombastic live drums to pretty guitars and organs. The track shifts back and forth from quiet strummed singalong to bombastic moments like the beginning and it works in spades. Elsewhere, the group mixes programmed drums and ascending guitar melodies for something very nearly dancey while in other places they drop things off into hazy electronics and delayed guitars that feel like the equivalent of porch-sittin' music for the space age.

With a good mixture of tracks with and without vocals, the album always manages to keep things sounding fairly fresh. "Going To Breathe Again" mixes hushed breakbeats and buzzing synths for a bizarre intro before bursting into a lush and louder mid-section that again shows the group comfortable with both sharp dynamic and stylistic changes. Although the lyrics sometimes tread a little too close to hokey (like the kinda new-agey "Full And Frayed"), this is an enjoyable little album that definitely doesn't wear out its welcome in 11 tracks and 40 minutes. C'mon midwesterners! Time to represent!

Rating: 7.5