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Bolstering our digitally influenced local cloister, with the likes of the Other Bones and Sunset Hearts, are GinLab, a five-piece mix of traditional bass-drums-guitar and synth-beats-Kaoss Box that is more sarcastic and ironic than danceable.

Their second EP, the four-song Abandoned Home, may bear most resemblance to the Magnetic Fields, with frontman Tyler DeVos reaching low in a song like "Party Girl" to eviscerate a gal who wakes up with "vomit in your hair/And searching for your T-shirt." Like Stephin Merritt, he brings in some lovely backing vocalists, too, like Amanda Gervasi, who just murders her verse in "Here We Are Now," the best of the four tracks here: "Everyone is so in touch/I know your favorite band, and movies/And who you fuck." Kevin Hardison's bassline is playful to match the major chords and there's a touch of World Party to the song in general.

There are other times, though, when the lead vocals are mixed a little low, or could just use more oomph as a whole. Perhaps that will be fixed in the final master, which I don't have. And they miss some opportunities to really pack a punch, as in the finish to "Here We Are," where the crescendo to the last chorus just doesn't quite have it.

Still, it's an interesting sound and there's potential for some really nice singles down the road.

ABANDONED HOME | Released by GinLab | at the Big Easy, in Portland | Dec 18 | facebook.com/GinLabTheBand

  Topics: CD Reviews , Stephin Merritt, Amanda Gervasi, GinLab
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