Where to even begin? I'm currently having my head twisted in knots by Aereogramme's new CD, Sleep And Release. The sophomore album by Aereogramme is an amazingly varied, yet thematic work, encompassing bits of bands as diverse as The Pixies, Built To Spill, Weezer and Sigur Ros. How's that for a sonic cocktail? The quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, have provided the perfect soundtrack to today's insane times, jumping across genres and tempos effortlessly but in a calculated manner; this is no hodge-podge, but a well-reasoned and moving record. Album opener "Indiscretion #243" is a perfect and equal blend of Built To Spill vocal textures with searing guitar a la The Pixies or first album Weezer. But from there, the album takes on a cinematic quality, and by track 3, "A Simple Process Of Elimination," you feel as if you have Sigur Ros in the changer as well and the CD has changed. The album continues in this manner, changing tempos from blocks of songs to the next, but all anchored by a seething guitar maelstrom that periodically swells up from the dark depths, battering your brain with its urgency. There's not much more that I can say: you just need to hear this album for yourself to understand its multi-layered magic and sinister beauty.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN