Sunday, 11 September 2011

REVIEW: Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Mirror Traffic

'Mirror Traffic' is the fifth album from Stephen Malkmus' current outfit The Jicks, and after years of gradually moving away from the old Pavement sound, here Malkmus returns to it in a way that will doubtless please fans of his old group. For instance opening track 'Tigers' recalls the sound of the great 'Brighten The Corners' album. It's a return to laid back, loose and rather stoned sounding indie rock with a lazy country edge and quirky one liners (see for example "I know what the senator wants, what the senator wants is a blowjob"). Beck's production is both suitable and audiably evident, in fact 'No One Is (As I Are Be)' brings up memories of Beck's more acoustic material. Elsewhere there's the dreamy haze of instrumental 'Jumblegloss', the humble beauty of 'Asking Price' ad the no-nonsense rock n roll fun of 'Tune Grief', which has an enjoyably mad grunge-punk bite. It's an enjoyable listen although at 15 tracks it does overrun a bit, and certainly isn't completely filler-free. But fans of Malkmus' solo work and especially Pavement will be pleased with this return to stylistic roots. 7/10

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