NOW YOU ARE THIS (SOUTHERN)
From the first experiments with no-wave-art-punk 7 years ago, San Francisco's Numbers continues their sonic evolution of minimalism, noise, and pop.
Now You Are This picks up where 2005's We're Animals left off, going further into a droney muscular krautrock yet still with a strong pop sensibility.
There isn't an easy comparison for the dire poise of this record, a secret pact between beauty and fear.
The songs are minimal and epic at the same time; powerful, blunt guitar riffs, insistent drumming, and tense slabs of analogue synthesizers.
The futuristic propulsion of Kraftwerk, the taut structures of Wire, the strange beauty of Eno, filtered through the raw-knuckled roughness of Suicide? You see, to paraphrase OzzY, we've all been going through changes.
The most disquieting aspect of the songs is their charm; thirteen tracks of dazed and charged near-collapse that unexpectedly catch in your mind, echoing their haunted buzz for days and weeks after the record ends.
Not since The Sliver Apples has a band so successfully wedded a cacophony of electronic keyboards with such a clear-voiced pop sensibility.
A significant part of this catchiness lies in the traditional chord structures and vocals; Indra's floating, hypnotic singing, Dave and Eric's timeless harmonies.
This weave of simple, strong vocals lends a poignant, unflinching guide to the dogged, swirling sound of the record.
Amid the tumultuous, irresistible waves of sound that drive the last minutes of the record, the world seems to fall away in the face of a voice asking, "what happened to you.
what happened to me?" Numbers draw a line from the simplicity and honest clarity of traditional American music like the Carter Family through the pounding of today, creating a phenomenal, appropriately dark vision of tomorrow's pop music.