Failure Plus

The phrase "didn't go as it should" starts off "Long Fucks Up," the first track on Failure Plus' Care.Less.Now. And that says plenty about what's happening here. Failure Plus is a Denton band that has played live few times; this is its first full-length release. But you'd never guess that by listening to the 13 tracks crammed into 32 minutes (mixed, partially recorded and co-produced by Slobberbone's Brent Best). This is a band wise beyond its years (months?): It turns Lift to Experience's wall of sound into a controlled chaos, sacrifices some of the pAper chAse's noise in order to worship more fleeting pop and rock moments.

Care.Less.Now oscillates between music-as-noise moments such as the two-parter "Inhumanities"--the first features a narrator talking about dying on the battlefield, the second has muted, distorted vocals and a creepy little melody that sounds like a distended woodwind recorder--to some catchy guitar-bass-drum-vox songs such as "Speed of Info," "Five Hearts" and "Dreamboat." The voices (provided by bass player Jake Wilgenowski and guitarist and organist Richard Richards, whose brother Franklin plays drums) alternate between droning and desperate to a pitch that's almost a dead ringer for Doug Martsch of Built to Spill.

Along with the dissonance and distortion are simpler, more straightforward selections such as album-closer "Hold On," which begins like a bedroom recording of a guy and his guitar, before the drums pick up the beat, the guitar plugs in and the song slides into the end. "All About You" opens with a similar sound, but the voice splits into two parts, attracting and repelling each other like magnets. But these sparse, slower moments don't bring Care.Less.Now to a stop. Though the pace varies from right-hook rock songs to Sentridoh-ish loners, the album remains consistent, never stumbling despite combining the manic personalities of noise and pop.

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Shannon Sutlief

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