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Black Box Theory
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Lindsay Murray's indie-pop solo project Gretchen's Wheel returns with her fourth full-length release, Black Box Theory, a 10-song collection that blends Murray's clear voice with her aggressive, energetic power-pop guitar attack. Murray's songwriting draws upon classic pop and rock sounds without ever becoming an exercise in retro. Black Box Theory continues the confident study in contrasts that has endeared Gretchen's Wheel to audiences. Razor-edged guitars drive the album's opening salvo, ''Untethered,'' as sweetly sung vocal harmonies float above. A bouncy rhythm underscores the melancholic sentiments of ''The Maze.'' The contemplative, album-closing ''A Tourist'' culminates with slow-burn distorted guitars. ''Murray's meaty, thoughtful tunes feel like they straddle the border between introspective power-pop and succinct, catchy alt-rock'' (The Daily Vault). The LP is black vinyl with multi-color splatter packaged in a gatefold jacket.