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Radiation City, Synesthetica (Polyvinyl Records)




Radiation City, Synesthetica (Polyvinyl Records)
CD Reviews: January 28, 2016

01/28/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Radiation City, Synesthetica (Polyvinyl Records) 

Unless I’m missing something, which wouldn’t be a first, Portland, Oregon, is still Ground Zero for generally unfunny quirk-hipsterism. This indie quintet has radiated that spirit for a few albums and an EP, with their last album Animals in the Median floating scattershot ideas in glitch, wombat-art-pop, Beach Boy-ish surf and faux-orchestral, mostly with Flaming Lips in mind. There were moments of highbrow melodic energy, few and far between, you know the deal, sort of like when a Saturday Night Live regular displays a real talent for Sarah McLachlan karaoke. All that being said, this album is billed as somewhat of departure, the band dumping producer John Vanderslice (Spoon, Death Cab) and turning to Modest Mouse producer Jeremy Sherrer. The results are pleasantly surprising, a lot more cohesive. It’s a bit fluffy, yes, but there’s some grinding, understated rawness (“Juicy”), some Goldfrapp-like moments (“Butter”) and regular-old decent tuneage (“Oil Show” among others) that I didn’t think they had in ‘em. Really nice reinvention here.





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