Medicine

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Captured Tracks

Feb 12, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


Man, just think of the playground you're granted if you dismantle a shoegaze band in the mid-'90s and bring it back to life in the '10s. The explosion of boutique effect pedals offering previously unimagined guitar tones, the evolution of the digital audio workstation putting all manner of production madness right at one's fingertips, andwell, there is that whole collapse of the traditional music industry thing, but no matter. Medicine's return has been a marked celebration of those playground particulars. And with this rapid-fire follow-up to 2013's To the Happy Few, they seem to be choosing the playground over the van, trading in long tours for more welcome sonic diversions. 

Those diversions, as always with Medicine, can be a strength and a weaknessthey are at their most powerful when they back up the audio insanity with strong songwriting, allowing those meandering, buried vocals to glue divergent pieces together. Thankfully, there are prime examples here, such as "The Reclaimed Girl," with its explosive classic shoegaze chorus, Beatles-esque structure, and panning stereo confusion, or the darker-flavored "Turning," built atop rumbling bass notes and a ride-happy drum loop, surely one of the group's finest moments since re-forming. Other songs do occasionally lose the path, but the sheer amount of other-worldly guitar tones, psychoacoustic headphone candy, and other sonic playground fodder give you plenty of ambition to chew on while you wait for that next hook. (www.capturedtracks.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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