Micachu & The Shapes | Never

Rough Trade (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 17, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Micachu & The Shapes

Like her stylistic sista Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Micachu's Mica Levi makes pixelated, abstract anti-pop that sounds like marionettes jamming in an aluminum factory. At times anarchic, dissonant, and anxious, Levi's short, confrontational tunes nonetheless have a compelling busking-on-a-highwire quality. If you're not listening in order to make sense of it all, then you're listening to hear what happens next. The British trio's second studio album isn't nearly as lean and rubbery as 2009's Jewellery, instead reaching for dense, futuristic psychedelia. See "Holiday," with its '60s pop harmonies buried under garage nihilism; "Nothing," which could be some sort of sci-fi doo-wop; or "Heaven," which is like Suicide in a washing machine. The noisy clang of "Easy" sounds like it could physically propel something, and even slower jams like "Low Doggs" have a stubborn mechanical drive. Levi and Co. can chill, too: "Sick" boasts some honest-to-goodness melody, and "Fall" is late-night jazz on a warm-up loop. From moment to moment, Never's oddball quality can be a blessing, but it becomes more of a curse when the moment passes and there's little besides disparate pieces to hold onto.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, holiday, 60s,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ZETH LUNDY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
  •   BILL WITHERS | THE COMPLETE SUSSEX AND COLUMBIA ALBUMS  |  October 31, 2012
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY