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In the wake of an extremely trying breakout tour (including having all their equipment stolen) and the dreaded “creative differences,” FILM SCHOOL underwent wholesale changes. Assuming I’ve parsed the various info correctly, it looks like lead singer GREG BERTENS and keyboardist JASON RUCK are basically the only constant members remaining from 2006’s brilliant self-titled release, though former guitarist NYLES LANNON’s listed as a guest. DAVE DUPUIS replaces Lannon, LORELEI PLOTCZYK takes over from JUSTIN LABO on bass, and the ever-changing drum chair is now filled by JAMES SMITH.
This band is still Bertens’s baby, though, so things aren’t too different. The sound is a bit heavier, rhythms a bit stronger. “Sick Hipster Nursed by Suicide Girl” takes repetition to a Krautrock level, while the closing “What I Meant to Say” with its throbbing, distorted bass, chilly keyboard sound, and lo-fi vocal bridge recalls Joy Division. That added heaviness is balanced, however, by the addition of female vocals, from not only Plotczyk but a few guests as well. It’s a great combination of shoegazer power and beauty.
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