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japancakes - Giving Machines
Japancakes of Athens, GA released this, their sixth album last year as a continuation of the band's ongoing love affair with lavish, textured arrangements and cinematic pop composition. The dream pop effects units are out on tracks like 'heaven Or Las Vegas', but the band are at their best when the guitars are left more or less as God intended, bolstered by a host of synths and string instruments. The band's instrumentals are easy to love, recorded beautifully throughout Giving Machines, as best demonstrated by the more pared down moments, as is the case with the wonderfully lyrical slide guitars populating post-country epics like 'Recovering Australia' or the bewitching synthetic haze established during intermission track 'The Enabler'. It's hard to make comparisons between this album and the work of other bands: these compositions defy post-rock structural logic, and nor do they fit in with the shoegazing tag that occasionally gets bandied about when Japancakes are mentioned. Giving Machines is certainly worthy of any music fan's investigation, but those looking for a unique permutation on Americana and instrumental rock music have just found their first port of call.