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  Electro Group and St. Avalanche  
Release Date:
  spring 2003  
Reviewed by:

This is a very promising 7" from Sacramento-based Clairecords. It features two bands from their town, although Electro Group is the only Sacramento band i have ever heard of before. In fact, i really enjoyed Electro Groups 2000 release A New Pacifica, which was a pleasant post-shoegazer pop album. Here are two new songs from the boys, and they do not disappoint.

The first of their two tracks, Trauma, is a fast-paced flurry of guitars with charming singing overtop. A good pop song. The second tune, Mezzoforte, is more experimental. It is a lightly constructed cascade of piano and echoed guitar given a very light IDM-ish touch. It is, in fact, a very nice ambient number.

The second side of this split is given to St. Avalanche, a band i had never heard of, but who are apparently into the "rock n roll lifestyle" seeing as on the liner notes they thank "St. Avalanche, for holding thier alcohol so well and never once OD-ing". Oh my.

Their first number here, Sun Monk and Thundercarp is a light twee-ish piece with female vocals. It's pleasant enough. The second tune, Air Forcing is a glorious mess of a tune. It's mixed odd too -- organ is prominant in the right channel, while overdriven guitar whirls away on the left. Drums and voice appear to be centered, and the drums are played in a primitive, loud thudding manner (think of the drums in Heroin by The Velvet Underground). An interesting mix idea, and the song overall sounds, well, like a 60's garage rock piece gone slightly awry. I actually like it...

So the music here is pretty nice. One word of warning: stamped on the record is "45rpm", while the music actually plays at 33 rpm. I first put it on at 45, and i sat there thinking, "When did Electro Group go twee? Man, they really need to lay off the speed." Then i slowed it down and everything sounded perfect. An annoying typo....

I would recommend this release to fans of quirky pop. Since it's a 7", it should be pretty cheap, and it's a good way to hear some interesting tunes.

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