Minus Story, Shearwater
Hailing from Missouri but with strong ties to the Lawrence, Kansas, rock scene, Minus Story is highly influenced by Flaming Lips, living in a neo-psychedelic dream world that can be captivating and testing at the same time. My Ion Truss, the quartet's beautifully erratic new disc, features the band's unique mix of standard melodies with a high quotient of pop experimentation. Songs such as "In Line," "Stitch Me Up" and "Pretty in the Light" all start off fairly conventionally before vocalist Jordan Geiger leads the way to all sorts of atypical locales. Drummer Nick Christus deserves special kudos for magnificently holding the entire mess together. There are touches of everyone from the Beach Boys to Yes in these fitful grooves, but somehow it works because Minus Story refuses to do what has doomed so many acts who profess their music as art: take themselves too seriously. Adding luster to this bill is the reflectively mellow power of Shearwater, a band that continues to channel Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake in all the right directions.
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