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The Ladybug Transistor | s/t (Merge/Track and Field)
For their eponymous follow-up to the acclaimed ĎArgyle Heirí, Brooklyn-based five-piece The Ladybug Transistor upped sticks and ventured out of their regular Marlborough Farms studio for the altogether unexpected climes of Tucson, Arizona. But, here at the near-legendary Wavelab Studios, with Craig Scumacher at the board, these purveyors of baroque indie-pop resist succumbing to any alt.country affectations. On the contrary, the lush arrangements are a world away from the desertscapes of Calexico et al. Instead its from the deliciously vintage tones of Sasha Bellís keyboards, Jeff Baronís guitar and Gary Olsonís anglocentric vocal stylings that the Ladybug sound derives. Paul Niehausí pedal steel is a rare indicator of their temporary locale, gracing the seductive swirl of 3 = Wild and the Byrdsian jangle of Splendor in the Grass. Elsewhere effectively employed embellishments of horns and strings lift the likes of In December (with itís nifty Back on the Chain Gang closing motif) and closer The Last Gent to new heights, and the brisk buoyancy of Bellís The Places Youíll Call Home and Hanginí On The Line keep up the infectious pop quota.
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003