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CD review: A Lull, 'Confetti'

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(Mush) 3 stars

alullconfetti.jpg"There's a quiet sound building all around," Nigel Evan Dennis sings in "Sideman" from A Lull's new full-length, before swapping adjectives, adding, "There's a disgusting sound building all around." This Chicago band makes music that couldn't justly be described as either quiet or disgusting. When I saw them perform last month at SXSW, four of its five members were beating drums (some full-time, some part-time). So you'd expect "Confetti," out today, to be a thunderous yawp, and it is -- but it's also remarkably light, the layers and layers (and layers) of sounds, mostly rhythms, flitting and fluttering like confetti itself. "Weapons for War" opens the album with synthesized traffic noise and skittering drumsticks; the music is bright and uplifting, even while the quizzical, esoteric lyrics suggest danger: "I went home with my very best friend / with a gun, with a blade, with a name ..." Some of the sounds are sometimes so digitally processed they lose shape and certainly warmth, and the ambition of the sound-stacking can get wearying. But the kinetic sound sculptures always resolve themselves into pretty accessible pop songs, without resolving the tension. An auspicious debut.

In concert: A Lull plays a CD release party at 10 p.m. April 22 at Schubas.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on April 12, 2011 5:00 AM.

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