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Phases and Stages

Texas platters

Reviewed by Michael Chamy, September 3, 2004, Music

Windsor for the Derby

We Fight Til Death (Secretly Canadian) Windsor for the Derby is an ongoing saga of growth and change, like a personal blog with a 10-year archive. It's primarily the story of Jason McNeely and Dan Matz, who founded WFTD in Austin in the mid-Nineties before briefly relocating to New York and then becoming a geographically separated collaboration that continues to this day. We Fight Til Death is the latest chain in a colorful evolutionary process. After years as an engrossingly meditative, instrumental concern, 2002's The Emotional Rescue EP was a quiet collection of song-driven bedroom confessions. Only problem was, they'd forgotten the bells and whistles along the way. We Fight Til Death carefully runs both sides of Windsor through a Cuisinart, and in the end a new, tasty puree results. "The Melody of a Fallen Tree" is the striking, eight-minute opener and high point, a bright, layered piece with lyrical complexity, lush keyboards, and a driving beat. Throughout Death, one gets the sense that this version of WFTD has some of the same goals as the other Austin band McNeely founded before bowing out last year: I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness. Namely, snippets of gothica integrated into a robust post-Cure party shake, which never come at the expense of the focused precision and attention to atmosphere and nuance the group's always had. We Fight Til Death is a fine comeback from one of Austin's more intriguing indie subplots.


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