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Sound Team Reviewed

Movie Monster (Capitol)

Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., June 9, 2006

Sound Team Reviewed

Sound Team

Movie Monster (Capitol)

As its title suggests, the major label debut from Austin's apocalyptic pop collective Sound Team is both cinematic and fierce. The keyboard-driven sextet's compulsive zeal for an ever-changing array of sonic textures dances on the edge of falling overboard, yet it always reined in before devolving into gee-whizardry. This volatile concordance between carnivorous forward vision and pop convention builds its way toward a heady, vibrant sound that feels alive and unsure. Although Movie Monster emerges from an aural epicenter cratered somewhere near the cusp of Reaganism, Sound Team's jet-setting approach reaches backward and forward from there, touching down in Brian Eno's Berlin, Joy Division's Manchester, and Arcade Fire's Montreal, among other destinations. The esoteric title track taps out a semiharrowing, synthesized dystopia, but "TV Torso" sounds torn from an after-hours dance party held in the shadow of Pershing missiles aimed at the Eastern Bloc. While "Your Eyes Are Liars" offers the superlative three-minute summary of the band's sound, the album's most memorable pick hit might be "Back in Town," in which pianist/vocalist Matt Oliver couples a faint Ben Folds bent with a hook that won't quit. Somewhere in Hollywood, there's a movie crying out for songs like that.

***

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