After nearly three years brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane aka slowcore slackers The New Year are back with their sophomore effort. The new album's generic artwork foreshadows the stripped-down affair to come. Overall, the songs are dispassionate, restrained, even insipid, floating along midtempo with anticlimaxes around every bend. It takes a patient three listens to get used to all the fake lefts, false starts and deresolutions ("Chinese Handcuffs," for example). But after settling in, the Kadanes' gift for subtle melody becomes apparent, and the lazy, detached mood that permeates somehow unifies the disc, making it effective in all the right places.
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