Micachu & The Shapes | Never

Rough Trade (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 17, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Micachu & The Shapes

Like her stylistic sista Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Micachu's Mica Levi makes pixelated, abstract anti-pop that sounds like marionettes jamming in an aluminum factory. At times anarchic, dissonant, and anxious, Levi's short, confrontational tunes nonetheless have a compelling busking-on-a-highwire quality. If you're not listening in order to make sense of it all, then you're listening to hear what happens next. The British trio's second studio album isn't nearly as lean and rubbery as 2009's Jewellery, instead reaching for dense, futuristic psychedelia. See "Holiday," with its '60s pop harmonies buried under garage nihilism; "Nothing," which could be some sort of sci-fi doo-wop; or "Heaven," which is like Suicide in a washing machine. The noisy clang of "Easy" sounds like it could physically propel something, and even slower jams like "Low Doggs" have a stubborn mechanical drive. Levi and Co. can chill, too: "Sick" boasts some honest-to-goodness melody, and "Fall" is late-night jazz on a warm-up loop. From moment to moment, Never's oddball quality can be a blessing, but it becomes more of a curse when the moment passes and there's little besides disparate pieces to hold onto.
Related: Review: Joyful Noise, Alex Chilton | Free Again: The ''1970'' Sessions, Cardinal | Hymns, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, holiday, 60s,  More more >
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