The New Year
The New Year (Touch and Go)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Sept. 26, 2008
The New Year(Touch and Go)
Matt and Bubba Kadane excel at epic understatement, payoffs that come less in grand crescendos than the slow winding of their encompassing world-view, an approach intrinsic to Bedhead's brand of Texas slo-core. Though the New Year previously drifted into more familiar rock territory, after a four-year interlude, the group's third album feels like the culmination of its vision, drawing disillusion close to dissect it into pieces of a more manageable reality. The buildup of repetitive chords opening "Folios" unnerves like a soundtrack of dusk-lit streets, bleeding into the beautiful ache and guitar tremble of "The Company I Can Get." Yet the pleas and push to escape exurban mediocrity in lulling hazy tones ("X Off Days," "Wages of Sleep") are spelled by exquisite piano ballads ("MMV," "Seven Days and Seven Nights," "Body and Soul"), balancing devastated hope and defiant despair in each yearning note.