Silver Pines, the Lemurs, the Laughing, and Sex Panda
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Sept. 26, 2008
Less than a year after serene debut EP Fort Walnut, San Marcos' Silver Pines keep the embers burning eloquently with Forces, a masterfully paced seven-song collection of translucent psych-folk, led by the haunting, amber cull of vocalist Stefanie Franciotti and hand-numbered at 250 copies. There's more organ drone added to the narcotic haze this time around, with dusty instrumentals "Polar Bear" and "Fortress of Daughters" like lantern-lit voyages to Mazzy Star. Austin's Lemurs get a little help from their local friends on Million Little Bits. The brooding New Wave stomp of opener "Nina" lilts with a Pink Nasty harmony, while standout "Blackspot," featuring Michael Kingcaid of What Made Milwaukee Famous and Belaire's Cari Palazzolo, hits an imaginative sweet spot between its two collaborators. As a whole, the EP's a bit disappointing, if only for its brevity. Same goes for the sophomore outing from the Laughing, Jungle, whose trademark elements – quivering vocals, scratchy guitars, horns, Afrobeat percussion – struggle to find an adequate balance, save for closer "Paradise." It's a stroke of brilliance compared to the compact electro-trash debut from Suncopters, Sex Panda, which takes all of the wrong cues from the Butthole Surfers' club makeover Weird Revolution and tacks on two remixes for good measure.
*Oops! The following correction ran in the October 10, 2008 issue: The deEP end section of "Texas Platters," Music, Sept. 26, reversed band and disc title on the Suncopters' Sex Panda EP. The Chronicle regrets the dyslexia.