U.S. Maple – Acre Thrills

3 out of 5

Label: Drag City

Producer: Brian Paulson

Acre Thrills was my first U.S. Maple album and so, by default, sorta my fallback for a while.  Opening track “Ma Digital” is everything I love about that band – spidery guitars and tinkling jazz drums that smash into a loud and banging chorus before the song swishes and/or sashays out in a way similar to how it came in – so it’s easy to be mislead by the album, thinking that the rest of the deconstruction that follows is similar.  And Maple does achieve a similar groove at select moments here and there, in the middle of the album, toward the end, also catching your ear at the just the right time, but this distracts from the fact that you’ve overlooked the tracks inbetween.  Because although the band has always been about dissecting the song, never really giving you a groove to get in to, there was a sense of organized madness on all their releases – you felt like you were listening to tracks.  Acre Thrills feels more like a pastiche of moments knit together by a few key tracks.  Songs still trickle together in that genius wandering fashion but they really just end without wandering their way out again.

 

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