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Yellow Ostrich

Strange Land (Barsuk)

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Yellow Ostrich

Strange Land (Barsuk)

Yellow Ostrich is a trio of swollen, New York-by-way-of-Wisconsin howlers that make trembling indie rock about loving someone who doesn't love you back. It almost makes too much sense that debut effort Strange Land is being put out by Seattle indie Barsuk. Weaned on the heartsick vibrations of Bright Eyes and once-Barsukians Death Cab for Cutie, Yellow Ostrich wrote a compelling high school album, the sort of thing that desperately searches for your attention. Sculpted from guitar slashes and trumpet tones and brimming with fresh, adolescent pain, the songs can feel like masochistic excisions of the American youth experience. Alex Schaaf's squeaky falsetto informs us that he's "got no time for you," while then admitting minutes later that he "wants your love." That old-fashioned indie-rock ethos of baring it all and hoping for liberation's kickback – they don't make 'em like this anymore. (Wed., 8:25pm, Red Eyed Fly)

***.5

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