The Long Wind Down (Grey Flat)
Somewhere between the mellifluous lilt of Galaxie 500 and the homemade psych-out angularity of the Soft Boys, there's a sweet spot for the odd, faraway jangle that maintains intimacy without compromising energy. On their second release, Austin's Palaxy Tracks mine this spot in a highly disciplined manner that holds the listener's attention long after less-focused bands have put you to sleep. The quartet succeeds because they combine their love of drone with an uncommonly sharp sense of pop songwriting. Opener "We Go Way Back" is a short, acoustic bout of bedroom philosophy that gives way to "I'm Swimming," a driving, hook-laden tune that quickly decimates your initial conception of the band. Perhaps the most unique song is "A Million Things To Do," which pits Brandon Durham's Bedhead-style vocals against a perfectly placed lap steel solo by (former) guitarist Ted Cho. The warm tones and cornered melodies used in songs like "This Is the World" and "Cats for Drowning" also contribute to the album's engaging presence. Like any good pop song, The Long Wind Down
will probably stick in your craw for a while.