By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 17, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars
Like other East Coast indie-rock outfits such as Blonde Redhead and the Walkmen, Baltimore’s Celebration reflect their city’s tense energy with moody minor chords and complex rhythms that lurch and rattle like mass transit after midnight. On the trio’s self-titled debut, the music is built around multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander’s self-consciously sloppy soundscapes, in which creepy circus organs, power-surge bass lines, and electric-storm cymbals duke it out for lead-voice status. Because singer Katrina Ford uses the same yelpy, desperate moan as a lot of indie guys these days, her vocals have less presence — an opinion David Sitek of TV on the Radio (who produced Celebration) seems to share: Sitek tends to bury Ford’s voice rather than spotlight it, which actually adds to the disc’s off-kilter allure. Celebration could deepen their songwriting, since what you remember about the CD when it ends is nothing more concrete than texture. But texture is a start.
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