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Real Estate | Days

Domino (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  October 18, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


"Easy," the rousing opener from Real Estate's sophomore studio effort, certainly has an appropriate title. Not a single second on the strummy psych-pop stunner (nor any of these other nine sleepy gems) remotely connotes a feeling of difficulty. This New Jersey quartet is one well-oiled muscle, and they flex it to hypnotic effect for 40-plus minutes. It's a subtle, intimate sound, dominated by the guitars (played by co-vocalists Martin Courtney and Matthew Mondanile), which are splattered with homemade reverb, barely rising above a haze — even when you crank the volume. The lyrics are mostly pleasant afterthoughts ("It's OK, it's alright/Because the day is just another night"), so it's no surprise that instrumental jam "Kinder Blumen" is such a stand-out. Dig those oceanic percussion clicks, lightly flanged yacht-rock guitars, snare hits as mighty as kitten yawns — even the damn tambourine sounds positively beachy. The driving surf-kraut closer "All the Same" is an eternity of whitewashed interlocking six-strings that bubble bigger and bigger but never pop; for seven-and-a-half spaced-out minutes, Real Estate relentlessly chug away at one sparkling melodic motif. It's like getting a mild headache from using too much Splenda, a gentle back massage that gradually starts to sting.
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