My Ion Truss
While Jagjaguwar certainly isn’t a bad fit for Lawrence, Kansas’ Minus Story, they feel more predestined to end up on the Omaha imprint Saddle Creek. There’s a strong mixture of influences on My Ion Truss from chaotic Americana to electronic to classic rock, but there’s a certainly a more solid pop edge hemming the band than most of Jagjaguwar’s roster. Truthfully, they sound like a less haggard Okkervil River tearing up the road with youthful abandon rather than alcohol-soaked pathos. This is hardly a bad thing, of course. “Aaron” swells with humidity and energy, a propulsive river of sounds well past the point of containment. It does so while maintaining a wonderment and an invocation to the western night’s sky. Explosions in the Sky’s John Congleton’s help co-producing the album undoubtedly led the band to more ethereal soundscapes. It provides the album with some beautiful tracks including “Pretty in the Light,” “In Line” and “MIles and Miles,” but the group’s indiscretion lead to some interesting oddities and missteps. “The Way Beyond” steals the foot stomp/hand clap percussion of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” in a surprisingly charming fashion, but the electronic-rich “Beast at My Side” feels too much like a put on with its modern rock skronk and volume. It’s foolish to begrudge any band their desire to try new directions, but their sound untweaked has been the best I’ve heard from Minus Story thus far.