Aqueduct

Or Give Me Death (Barsuk)

SXSW Reviews

Aqueduct

Or Give Me Death (Barsuk)

Aqueduct's Seventies AOR influences are unmistakable. The Boston-esque harmonized guitar fill on opener "Lying in the Bed I've Made" is followed by an Emerson, Lake & Palmer synth picking up the melody, then the back half employs some Brian Wilson vocal harmonies. While dissecting each piece is a fun Where's Waldo game of musical influences, the songs are also more interesting when reduced to their parts. Unfortunately, while the decorations are nice, the structures they adorn are bland. Worse, Aqueduct, the musical moniker adapted by Seattle-from-Oklahoma transplant David Terry, takes a downward step as most of the tracks from 2005 sophomore effort I Sold Gold had unique signatures. Here, the synth-pop has a monotone feel to it as track four sounds like track five, which sounds a little like track seven, etc. That's the downside of setting the bar high with your previous album. Wouldn't be the first. (Thursday, March 15, Buffalo Billiards, 12mid)

**

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