Boomkat Product Review:
The second album from Fred Thomas's sprawling City Center project, 'Redeemer' is the first to feature multi-instrumentalist Ryan Howard, who joined the band just prior to the release of Thomas's self-titled Type Records debut. The inclusion of an extra member has expanded Thomas's noisy introspective compositions into veritable pop songs, but thankfully none of Thomas's passion for more experimental textures has been lost in the transition. These songs were written over a two-year period of heavy touring, and while they might have been through multiple recording sessions and been chiseled within an inch of their life they still sound raw and spontaneous. At times it sounds like indie darlings The Wrens if they'd been produced by Arthur Russell; this is unashamedly American rock music, but there's a wealth of nervous production tics to dig into that really shouldn't be there. Off kilter synthesizer drones, sampler hiccups and percussive noises, vocal loops and thrumming harmonies. It's not every day an indie rock record falls into my lap that manages to throw together so many influences and emerge victorious, and 'Redeemer' might just be the best record of its kind I've come across for some time. Dangerous and unpredictable but with the same kind of sing-along headonism of the Beach Boys at their best, you won't want to miss this collection of pop nuggets. Huge recommendation.