One of these dudes is the touring guitarist for Dashboard Confessional. How kooky is that? Not as kooky as the jams you're gonna find on this record! The two boys in Ratatat go their own way, and that way involves crafting pointillist instrumental compositions out of--crap, what don't they use--guitars, drum machines, synths, sleigh bells, organs, bongos, what sounds like a couple of sound effects from Zaxxon...The end product is a shambolic, beat-driven mess of melodies, all falling apart and then reassembling. It's pretty cool, it's pretty novel, but it's not very lasting. These multitalented chaps (in addition to the Dashboard thing, there's also their weird rock/hip-hop mix tape) pretty much perfected this aesthetic on their self-titled debut from '04, and Classics only serves to drive that point home, as it introduces few new ideas. It's like some geek musician gets a new piece of music software and makes a record and then hands it to you and is like, "See?" And you're all, "Dude, I know this is cool for you, but to me it just sounds like your regular old shit."
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Garrett Kamps

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