A variation of a 1971 spaghetti-western film title, The Llama Farmers’ El Toppo might belie the novelty of its predecessor, at least for a little bit. It seems that the sudden influx of Brit Rock has infiltrated suburban culture like a Starbucks. But there has to be a reason for this. The jangling hooks and wavering vocals are now familiar, so it’s quite a treat to hear this quartet shift gears from their peers. Employing the soul-bearing shoegazer tactics of bands like Slowdive with the carefree crunch of Pavement, Llama Farmers break the chains of chart-accessible conformity.
“More Salt” is an isolated mid-tempo number with reverberating vocals and drums to create dense atmospherics in a simple rock format. Guitar waxes acoustic and electric, with abstract, humorous lyricism dancing in syncopation throughout the record. Without relying too heavily on indie-rock indulgence, The Llama Farmers prefer their music to speak through carefully structured melody than off-time, freeform rhythm. Although they might never reach the superstardom of Travis or Coldplay, Llama Farmers are poised and raring to climb the ladder with a unique style nearly all their own.
Beggars Banquet Records, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10012, http://www.beggars.com