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Sweet Knievel: Collapsible

Self-released

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Sweet Knievel recognizes that vocalists can be a distraction. The Athens-based quartet's debut, Collapsible, explores a variety of instrumental glyphs, including spacey jazz-funk freak-outs with a cover of RJD2's "The Horror," Deadhead shuffles such as "Eb," jazzy pop with "The Square Bullet," and reggae-torch/bossa nova-dub with "Travelers," while maintaining playfulness and ease. Each song offers arched-eyebrow flair and a pastiche of post-modern exotica, but still slips into a predictable roots-funk rut. The vocals yield mixed results: the Neil Young-ish "Wanderful" is a decent song while the prog-folk "Rule of Thumb" is less so, suggesting the group learn to stick to its strengths. Sweet Knievel is the perfect idiosyncratic lounge-jam instrumental house band for an odd but hip and low-lit dive. (3 out of 5 stars)

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