Reviewed by Michael Chamy, Fri., Sept. 13, 2002
Sound TeamInto the Lens (Chinook Sounds)
Sound Team = a band. Or so says the little disembodied head that serves as our guide through the eight-page promotional Sound Team coloring book titled Sound Team Goes to Space. Good thing our fine fedora-wearing host was kind enough to clue us in. We might have otherwise mistaken Austin's Sound Team for an artist collective trafficking in 2nd-grade-level media. As it turns out, though, the accompanying album Into the Lens is far more than a soundtrack to an imaginary coloring book. The fantastic, whimsical artwork, the clever, wordy song titles, and the slightly goofy, laid-back, retro-psychedelic pop music contained within are all more than a little reminiscent of the Elephant 6 collective of bands that includes the Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Elf Power. Sound Team also possesses the Elephant 6-like ability to surprise at every twist and turn, dishing out in equal helpings pied-piper Moog marches, helium-drenched carnivalesque jigs, pulsating analog thumps, and chilled-out pastoral psyche-folk ditties. It's all tossed off casually, with the youthful grin that Wayne Coyne and Jonathan Donahue lost long ago in favor of a contrived wink. Into the Lens never fails to be interesting, but it does lose a bit of oomph as the band shrouds their exuberance in a swirling analog haze. Sound Team = a band, and another great example of the stream of local musical riches currently flying under the radar.