Indian Jewelry – Totaled

January 01, 1970

(We Are Free/Monitor)


If you listen to Indian
Jewelry a few times, then don’t listen for a few months, then prepare to listen
again, chances are that you will imagine you are about to embark upon something
much weirder, much more esoteric than you actually are. This is a compliment to
the band, though, not an insult. The thing about this Houston-based group is
that its music alternates between formless and throbbing, as on the new album’s
two opening tracks – the kick-drum-pounding, shoegazer “Moonlight” and the
droning, tribal “Touching the Roof of the Sun.”


But throughout this supposed
dichotomy of sound lie some binding ties; namely, effects ridden keys, guitars,
vocals, and bass, and a propensity to meander without ever latching onto a
melody. Again, compliment. “Tono Bungay” actually rides upon something close to
an electro beat, around which slink simplistic guitar lines reminiscent of
early Cure or Movement New Order. At times, the palpitations can be hard
to listen to, as is the case on the evil “Parlous Siege and Chapel,” a track
that practically spits out lyrics over a sub-bass quivering. Before you reach
your breaking point, however, the band embarks upon “Oceans,” their version of
pop, another song that recalls early Cure, this time maybe something from Pornography.


If this is the direction all
music was heading in, the future would be very dour indeed. But bands like Indian
Jewelry peppering the landscape with their experimental and dystopian visions
of melody (or lack thereof) is a welcome break from all the rest.


Standout Tracks: “Moonlight,”



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