Bishop Allen


SXSW Records

Bishop Allen

Grrr ... (Dead Oceans)

2009 shall be known as the year Brooklyn bands took over the world. Case in point: Bishop Allen. The ambitious duo of former Harvard classmates Justin Rice and Christian Rudder turned their EP-a-month project into 2007's acclaimed label debut, The Broken String. Simply put, Grrr ... is a fantastic follow-up, "Dimmer" serving as a perfectly springlike starter, dripping with charm. When Rice sings, "I would choose the darkest horse – that's the horse I'd ride ... and we'd start the race behind," you want to give him a side hug and noogie out of pure joy. Twee without being cutesy or cloying (the woozy horns of "True or False" and Darbie Nowatka's guest vocals), Grrr ... brims intelligence without elitism ("The Ancient Commonsense of Things" and bouncy "Tiger, Tiger," which probably is not an allusion to poet William Blake, but one can dream). Proof that even hipsters can be lovable. (Thu., Mohawk Patio, 8:50pm.)


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