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The Aluminium Group | Pelo (Hefty Records)
A lot of people discovered this band when Marina Recordings released their compilation, 'Introducing...' in early 2000 to a horde of comparisons to the French duo Air and their ilk. Sugary, authentic lounge music was the order of the day, with Jim O'Rourke on hand in the producer's chair. Based in Chicago, the core of the group is the unambiguously gay brothers duo of Frank and John Navin. This, their latest effort, was recorded and produced, during the latter part of last year, by John Herndon and John McEntire of Tortoise fame. And are they on to a very surprising winner ! Gone are the mostly irritating lounge crooning, in its place top drawer American art-pop if such a thing exists... Messrs. Herndon and McEntire are participating in the pop music they dare not mention in the presence of their regular bandmates. Sally Timms and Rob Mazurek (on vocals and cornet respectively) make notable contributions on many of the tracks (among them such intriguing titles as Goodbye Goldfish, Hi Piranha and Tom of Finland (an homage)). A record of suprising substance and atmosphere then, the brothers acknowledgement of debt to the Bacharachs and the Carpenters of this world notwithstanding.
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001