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And So I Watch You From Afar

Gangs (Richter Collective)

Reviewed by Adam Schragin, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

And So I Watch You From Afar

Gangs (Richter Collective)

The idea that post-rock had to lean toward the mellow, the slow build, and the tough sell was exploded in the mid-Aughts by Ratatat, a New York band with all the subtlety of a synthesizer jackknifing into a Flying V. Now come antecedents And So I Watch You From Afar, a Belfast, Ireland, band with drastically maximalist instincts that pummel instead of persuade. Second CD Gangs spins an enormously wrought piece of work that finally matches the band's inflated aspirations with production values. Considering that most songs poke past five minutes, they're oddly unmemorable, featuring hooks with infinitesimal life spans, as well as guitars and electronics that all shoulder one another for room with too much hyperactivity to crunch into one song. Riff-fests like "Search:Party:Animal" drag Andrew W.K. and Joe Satriani into a raucous frat party, the kind where you feel the hangover setting in long before you've left. (Sat., 1:05am, Friends; Fri., 10:15pm, the Bat Bar)

**

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