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Even with only four songs [plus intro “Séance”, with elements of the closing track “Solstice”] there is more to the Havoc Siren than on most LPs three times longer. Anchor Thieves is new to me but has three other LPs and three EPs. “Ipso Facto” opens with a flute run accompanied by piano, vocals washed in slight reverb, spewing emotion. The drums and bass glue it all together before the guitar lead brings it all home. As on all tracks, multiple layers of sound are incorporated throughout with the core being drums, bass, and guitar. The flourishes of flute and trumpet are never overwhelming and help make this album stand out. I would describe the band as shoegaze (-ish), grungy and alternative rock with elements of each that work well together. “Siren” reminds me of the very early days of Death Cab for Cutie or Bad Astronaut. “Trapezoid” is the lengthiest song with a musical box type round, which rolls on, unwinding in layers [once again] allowing for nuances to reveal themselves upon multiple listens. “Solstice” is the climax and brings elements of shoegaze, plodding along, crescendoing before coming down to an abrupt ending which is leading this listener to go and check out the band’s back catalog. Highly recommended.
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