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Dead Confederate: In the Marrow

Spiderbomb

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If Kurt Vile's new album inhabits the sunny side of the art-psych divide, then Dead Confederate's could be its evil twin. The Athens quintet favors claustrophobic, slow-burning numbers that are pregnant with tension and drama, as with the bittersweet organ-driven "Dead Poetry," which boasts what is perhaps the group's most indelible hook to date. The album's explosive and dynamic sweep, and frontman Hardy Morris' falsetto, recall Manchester Orchestra at times. The big difference, though, is Dead Confederate's willingness to slow down and linger without losing the thread. These epic numbers, including the spacey album opener "Slow Poisons" and the Americana-tinged "Big City Life," are balanced against vibrant, distortion-spewing rockers like "Vacations." In the Marrow is a grower with ominous power. (4 out of 5 stars)

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