Park Avenue Music
For Your Home or Office
How much you enjoy Park Avenue Music’s latest EP depends largely on your aesthetic perspective: home or office. The post-modern glitch/electronic influence is a lot more prevalent here than on their debut, to take with you. By creating unsettling fissures in what would be pristine, sanitized arrangements, band members Wes Steed and Jeanette Faith undermine music that usually exists as low-key sonic office wallpaper. It’s a risky undertaking, because the duo increasingly include the vocals in the editing process — the lyrics on “golden hummingbird” are practically indecipherable. Faith’s voice is turned into a mechanism of emotional conveyance rather one of lyric content. Conceptually these tracks are solid, but the irritant factor is upped considerably from their last outing. “how’s your 401k?” is the most suburban, enthusiastic pop track on the disc, and, ironically, it skewers the upwardly mobile the most thoroughly through Faith’s subtly sarcastic questions: “Who’re you looking up to?/How much can you take?/What are you writing off this year?/When’s your next break?” Though I enjoy this method more, I’ll admit the sarcasm/irony angle has been done nearly to death by this point. The instrumental assault is more intriguing, but in either case it’s the home listening that wins and the office that always loses.