Adult Rodeo

Long-Range, Rapid-Fire (Four States Fair)

Record Reviews

Adult Rodeo

Long-Range, Rapid-Fire (Four States Fair)

Out in the hinterlands of pop music, at the border between literary lyrics and verbal contortionism, where music-making and play become all but indistinguishable, Austin's Adult Rodeo continue to mark their territory and shout their claim to a brand of jittery songcraft where most would fear to tread. Long-Range, Rapid-Fire continues the local combo's legacy of weird, heady pop, but there are definitely more straight-up rockers here than on their previous releases -- straight-up for Adult Rodeo, that is. Check opener "Moisturizin" with its twin accelerations and frenetic close, and the later, slipperier "Speed Limit" that charges past with lyrics yelled hurriedly out the window. This could be due in part to the pronounced presence of bassist Toby Scroggins and drummer Karl Lundin, who've been in the live band for a while now, but make their first studio appearance here, beefing up the instrumental approach. Now more a rock band than a musical project, Adult's avenues have opened wide, and the young band's hallmark oddness does not suffer for the rock. Stephanie Mankins, in shedding just a bit of warble, demonstrates that she has a genuinely pretty voice, making both "A.C. Carousel" and "Helicopters" standouts. "Monticello" is a flat-out rave-up. Long Range, Rapid Fire is all over the place, yes, but so was Blake. And Beefheart. And Wittgenstein. And Waits. You get the picture. (Wednesday, March 14, Maggie Mae's, midnight)

***.5

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