The Polyphonic Spree

The Fragile Army (TVT)

Texas Platters

The Polyphonic Spree

The Fragile Army (TVT)

Time has begun taking its toll on the Polyphonic Spree. With this third LP, the Dallas-based symphonic pop platoon abandons its childlike release and floral robes in favor of black military fatigues, transforming their passive resistance into a sharp-edged sonic assault. Credit belongs to the production by the Paper Chase's John Congleton, whose signature schizophrenia is clearly heard in the immediacy of "Section 22 (Running Away)"; "Mental Cabaret," the only repeat from last year's Wait EP; and "Get Up and Go," which recalls the Arcade Fire's bleak "Black Mirror." The Fragile Army also borrows heavily from the apocalyptic guitar structures and cinematic grandeur of Ziggy Stardust. In fact, David Bowie is thanked in the liner notes, and virtuosic pianist Mike Garson, an original Spider From Mars, nearly steals the show with his guest performances, as on "Section 28 (Guaranteed Nightlite)." Together the band is starting to sound seriously heavy. Join the revolution. (The Polyphonic Spree buzzes Stubb's Sunday, June 24.)

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