Since global warming doesn't seem to apply to the eastern seaboard, I took a skiing vacation at the end of February. The temperatures in western Maryland approached zero (up from the negative side) occasionally. The slopes were awesome--if not exactly as majestic as the western U.S. slopes of my youth.

But the backlog continues to diminish. I'm into November and not looking back.


Because Jon and Matt say so

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Alternate flight

There have been rumors of a new Wrens album showing up one of these years. Wormburner is slightly more prolific (an album every four years), but it takes a similar noisy, layered and calculated approach to pop tunes. Oh, and there's a smidge of sarcasm.

Pleasant Living in Planned Communities

As if the album title didn't tip you off. The song titles are also indicative. "Today Might Be Our Day" (spoiler alert: no, it won't). "Made-for-TV Movie." "Parliaments on Sundays." The last one, of course, betrays the age of the band members.

My favorite parts of this album are the bits of noise that populate the background. This is an amazingly dirty album, soundwise. The production is ultra-crisp, but there's a lot of crackle in the corners. That leaves the impression that there's always something to explore. More than an impression, really; there's almost too much to process at times.

The songs are bitterly funny, kinda like listening to a depressive on crack or something. But just when oppression rears its ugly head, the boys kick out a killer hook sliced from steel.

An acquired taste, I suppose, but one that will satisfy more and more with each listen. The more I hear, the faster my blood flows. Exceptional stuff.