Starflyer 59

Starflyer 59

Fell in Love at 22 EP

Tooth And Nail

Starflyer 59 has always struck me as the plausible strain of shoegazing guitar-pop, comfortably but distinguishably sitting on a plateau between the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. Fell in Love at 22 EP , presumably a stopgap between albums, offers five compelling tracks that similarly follow the stripped-down ethic of the band’s ’98 album, The Fashion Focus , each one downered and understated, with vocalist Jason Martin’s guitars characteristically reverbed beyond belief. But unlike earlier dirge ‘n’ swirl fests, Starflyer’s current construct lessens the guitar tracks to only two (usually one clean and reverbed, the other acoustic), thus leaving the much-tapped well of processed crunch-guitar melancholy to the past. And the band is that much better for the prudent move, often injecting a bit of Radiohead-ish anti-climactic drama into its despresso espresso, rendering its teary-eyed tales simultaneously soul-souring and -plummeting in the process (e.g., “E.P. Nights,” the title track). Compact and economical by design, Fell in Love at 22 EP serves as a nifty introduction to neophytes and anyone else with a pop itch that begs to be satisfyingly scratched.

Tooth And Nail Records, P.O. Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111-4698; http://www.toothandnail.com

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