Centro-matic

Fort Recovery (Misra)

SXSW Records

Centro-matic

Fort Recovery (Misra)

Can it be that long? With the release of Fort Recovery, Austin/Denton's favorite sons celebrate a decade together, all the more remarkable when one considers how fresh Centro-matic still sounds. While not a big jump from 2003's Love You Just the Same, the band's 10th full-length contains some of bandleader Will Johnson's best songwriting. He and his compatriots, Matt Pence, Scott Danbom, and Mark Hedman, have grown into a band that chills you with washes of orchestrated chaos and seductive melodies, creating intense vistas, memorable pop hooks, and moments of rare intimacy. Of course in the Southern gothic of Centro-matic, the elegance doesn't jump up and hammer you at first listen. Like their past work, it takes repeated listens to grasp the music's nuances and intricacies. Tunes like "Triggers and Trash Heaps," "Patience for the Ride," and "Monument Sails" recall the stately yet rootsy side of Neil Young. Keyboards, violin, and vibraphone give the album a chamber-pop filter that makes it extraordinary. Ultimately what makes Fort Recovery a success is Centro-matic's ability to make distinctively American music with uncommon fervor and without cliché. Fans will want to seek out the four-track Triggers and Trash Heaps EP, which includes three unreleased tracks. Highlighted by a gnarly demo of "Take a Rake," it's a slab of lo-fi heaven. (Friday, March 17, 1am @ Maggie Mae's)

***.5

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Centro-Matic, Will Johnson, South San Gabriel

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