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Absolutely Kosher Records

After their well-received 1998 debut, Information Changer (which will be reissued this year by Absolutely Kosher), the Philadelphia four-piece known as Eltro has returned with Velodrome, a quiet little eleven-track blending of fuzzy guitars, spacey electronics, funky beats, and lovely female vocals, taking inspiration from many different directions to create something that is remarkably coherent. This time around, they have taken a more textured, airy approach to creating a subtle pop record, and have come up with something that manages to be dizzying and confusing, yet gentle and addictive at the same time.

Eltro plays a type of psychedelic rock that has been done before, but they manage to breathe life into it, via the well-executed distribution of many complex elements. Songs that are structurally rather simple and could possibly be described as slow and droning are revitalized by quirky dance grooves and breathy, gorgeous vocals from Diana Prescott. Fuzzed-out guitars from Jorge Sandrini add another intriguing layer, but the more spacey aspects of each track are kept under control by the more structured ones, making for a hazy, yet tempered listening experience.

Pop occasionally takes a few steps to the forefront on tracks like "Before" and the results are exceptional. Some tracks, like "Three Gorges, Damn" and "Center", are more drawn out, and border on tedious and boring, while the electronics occasionally dance to the edge of irritability, like with the otherwise excellent "Say It" and "Denver International." But for the most part, the band finds a clever middle ground between pop and psychedelia. Somehow, for the span of eleven tracks, Velodrome manages to run circles around your head, while still leaving you with something catchy enough to lodge itself in your head all day long.

-Eddie Fournier

Track Listing:

  1. Some Vital Function
  2. Say It
  3. Come To Me In Silence
  4. Three Gorges, Damn
  5. Vera Wang
  6. Center
  7. Ether
  8. Niagara
  9. Escaping Flatland
  10. Before
  11. Denver International

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