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White Cascade's EP2

Friday at Kings with The Bronzed Chorus

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White Cascade's 2010 debut EP offered a promising sample of swirling shoegaze guitars and droning rock soundscapes, steadily balancing post-rock heft and prickly fuzz. Two years later, with a functionally named collection EP2, White Cascade retains but a shadow of that debut's amplifier worship.

The Raleigh trio's marked stylistic shifts are most obvious at EP2's fore and aft, the opener "30 Seconds" and finale "Again and Again." The former is a sonically lean eight-minute drive of Motorik momentum, countered by serpentine guitar lines and frontman Matt Guess' vocals, which jut out only far enough to be swept off in a gust of echoes. The effect is that of the crisp but spacey sort of psych-rock not unlike Moon Duo's. "Again and Again" is a moody synth-pop trip, suggesting Soft Cell and John Carpenter.

Between the EP's bookends, the territory isn't so foreign. Here, the band keeps the murk but recasts it. "You Got It" plays like a waterlogged Toro Y Moi, dipping electro-funk into puddles of clean, ringing guitar chords, while "Candy" can trace its blurry, bleary pop lineage to The Jesus and Mary Chain. In all of these molds, though, White Cascade is following that painful rule of creativity—cheerily discarding the past to try something new. That, if nothing else, is worth appreciating.

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