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The Curtains: Vehicles of Travel

Frentic - 2004

If you ever thought of delving into the rich tapestry of experimental music, then Vehicles of Travel would make an appropriate starting line. On first listen, Vehicles is deceptively thin, as if recorded in someone's walk-in closet. However, a few listens later with a thoughtful eye towards the lyrics and the mysteries begin to unfold. Or do they?

Twenty-three tracks segue into one thirty five-minute song that's punctuated by flinty vocals about bows, arrows and "Don Quixote's dream of life"; a line from the sixth part, "Won't Make It". The album may well consist of any memory your imagination can devise.

Created by Chris Cohen, Greg Saunier (both members Bay Area-based band Deerhoof) and Andrew Maxwell (of LA-based Open City); the album swoons with fairytale like abandon as it voyages through far flung musical landscapes. Jazzy, no-wave guitar licks, marching beats and simple, synthesized pop melodies blend into a theatrical windmill of sound for the mind.

Fans of Joanna Newsom or The Residents may equally enjoy the pleasures of exploration during a voyage through the Vehicles of Travel. All aboard.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars