Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Nov. 26, 2010
The latest offering from C-Side Records, Austin's revolving door folk-pop family (the Channel, Golden Bear), doesn't stray far from the label's mellow gold standards. The group asserts the title of the album as a noun first, "the quality of lacking any predictable order or plan," so it feels like they just showed up to practice one day and jammed these seven songs out. That said, as a follow-up to 2009 debut What's the Word Bird?, it feels fuller, thanks to clarinet, violin, trumpet, and a chorus of boy-girl vocals. Some of Stochasticity plays out a bit precious (anti-climatic closer "Ghost Town"), but there's a melodic sense underneath and a duty to the naturalist side of Southern folk ("Appalachia," "See You Again"). Indeed, there's no sense of predictability here, but a little more cohesion would have gone a long way.