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Sonic Reducer

The Honored Guests


The Honored Guests--Iawokeinacityasleep (lll of 5) This Chapel Hill trio's music has a thick, sonorous fullness that drips from your speakers like syrup. Reminiscent of British dream pop in the roundness of their tone, they have a sometimes regrettable tendency toward an ethereal psychedelica that lingers like smoke wafting off a still-burning cigarette. The best tracks here, "Postmarked," and "I Can't Keep You," trade that pregnant ambience for a bit of rustic guitar twang that brings them more in line with Grandaddy, forging something a bit more earthy than some of the other moments on the album. The album opening "Postmarked" features a wonderful hummable melody, nice backing harmonies, and a plunging, purposeful rhythm that meshes well with the sun-blissed jangle that underlies the track. Other tracks, such as "Boston," whose angular opening guitar bit recalls The Dismemberment Plan, and the album-closing "Days Are Getting Brighter," have a somnambulant quality reminiscent of Coldplay, but sometimes feel a bit bogged down in their mid-tempo attack. Overall, a pretty album that over its eight tracks and 30 minutes takes you to some nice places, but which doesn't feel as strong songwise as it is sonically. ( ) x

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