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Untogether

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Untogether
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Audio CD, October 9, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Review

California dream pop band Letting Up Despite Great Faults were sometimes shuffled off under the "shoegaze" banner, filed with other 2010s revivalists of the washy guitar-pedal style like Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Wild Nothing. While all these bands share a sturdy foundation of pop and an obsessive fascination with its fuzzier side, on their second full-length, Untogether, LUDGF wander closer to the dancier elements of their dreamy indie sound, peeling back some layers of noise to accentuate their rhythmic undercurrents. The chorus-heavy guitars, buzzing keyboards, and driving drum-machine beat of opening track "Visions" all speak to a New Order influence, but when the high-pitched lead basslines come in, the song starts screaming New Order. Michael Lee is bandleader, lead singer, and player of most of the music on their recordings, and his breathy vocals sit coyly low in the mix, coming off like a cloudy-eyed Postal Service-era Ben Gibbard more than Bernard Sumner's pitchy croons. The pulsing shimmer of "Take My Jacket, Pauline" blends the classic '80s electro-pop sound with that of the band's contemporaries like Wild Nothing, with backing vocals from Alyssa Criswell rounding out the hazy romantic vibe. "Postcard" furthers the coagulation of '80s electro bands and their updates, borrowing heavily from the theatrical urgency of M83 with driving keyboards and distorted electronic drums. --AllMusic

Already known for its heady cocktail of thumpity-thumps with strong melodies, Letting Up Despite Great Faults takes several leaps into the stratosphere with its new release, Untogether. Led by Mike Lee, the four-piece, which currently calls Austin, TX and Los Angeles home, has perfected its take on synth-based sounds born in the 80s. The album sandwiches moodier, slightly more contemplative fodder between gotta-dance tracks. "On Your Mark," for instance, is just unabashedly romantic loveliness. The songs I like best combine both approaches, giving a girl an excuse to whirl n twirl to delectable melodies, as with "Breaking," "Scratch," and "Take My Jacket, Pauline." LUDGF calls its sonic output danceable dreampop, which sounds to me like something on a stick, that gets licked. Okay, this is getting kinda naughty... --My Old Kentucky Blog

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