Argentine – In Other Fictions

In Other Fictions

Imagine a Bends-era Radiohead mixed with a slowed-down Pavement led by a young Thurston Moore, and you’ll be close to the sound (sometimes) of Argentine. The trio opens the eight-song In Other Fictions with the fuzzed-out and soothing “The World Gets Younger.” The initially sparse drum and string arrangement explodes into a shoegazer freakout, leaving the listener primed for more.

The other seven songs on the album seem to follow a similar “little bit of this, little bit of that” philosophy: The indie-pop heart of “Fresh Inventions” mixed with Doors-style organ, the lulling string and guitar interplay of the title track, and the lyrical rock pulse of “Slumberside” being ready examples. (Here I’d like to take the time to point out that the latter song has the best handclaps this side of Simian’s “Over the Hills”).

“Westerly” is a “straight” song, by which I mean Argentine makes its way through the verses and choruses without the use of a distortion break. “Bowling Green” brings back more spooky organ sounds, offsetting the engaging vocal line nicely, emphasizing the point that the singer is feeling “deranged.” In Other Fictions ends with “Checks and Balances,” a deliberate and placid closing to a sound collection of songs.

With little fanfare, In Other Fictions showcases a band that’s more than capable of writing excellent tunes while shunning the restrictiveness of one genre. Well done.