Figurines

Skeleton (The Control Group)

SXSW Records

Figurines

Skeleton (The Control Group)

Copenhagen, Denmark's Figurines skitter about the periphery of sanity on a hyper-caffeinated power-pop buzz, never quite going over the edge, but always keeping you on guard. Combine that with a 150-proof undercurrent of forlornness and you've got the LP equivalent of your loquaciously neurotic friend that just got dumped. The quartet begins its second album with "Race You," a quivering piano ballad that's wholly incongruent with the rest of Skeleton. Nevertheless, it serves as an emotionally charged introduction to the high-pitched melodic warble of vocalist/guitarist Christian Hjelm, who could be the next rung in the chain linking Neil Young with Wayne Coyne. The album finds its groove with "The Wonder," a sharply cut slice of post-punk driven by ace drummer Kristian "Volle" Volden's mechanical snare snaps. The banjo-laden honky-tonk stab "Ghost Towns" fleshes out the sound here in much the same manner as Michael Nesmith's songs diversified Monkees albums, while "Wrong Way All the Way" rages full-on against stylistic complacency by invoking vaguely flannel shades of hardcore. You might not be able to pick Figurines out of a line-up, but this is a vehicle that'll get you where you're going. (Thursday, March 16, 1am @ Karma Lounge)

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