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Something has definitely happened to Abe Vigoda since their 2008 debut. Let’s call it maturity (at this point it should be clear that I am not referring to this man).

Not to belittle Skeleton – a merry, raucous stampede of shouting, liberal percussion and a peculiar tonality initiating the tag “tropical punk” – whose splash displaced more water from the indie pool than early listeners would have expected.

I merely mean to say that by comparison, Crush (their upcoming LP) demonstrates a technological expansion (hey synth!), a replacement of mania with melodious restraint and a compelling dialogue with the musical tradition before them – 80’s post-punk/new wave (hip hip!) and Arthur Russell (hooray!) for instance. The tropics have frozen over in the best possible way.

This song, “Repeating Angel,” constructs a pensive, emotionally focused soundscape out of disciplined guitar picking and echo drum effects that – call me crazy – struck me right off as something out of U2’s The Joshua Tree.

Enter some moody-melodic, wise-old vocals that will surely have you wrongly guessing its owner’s years. The song’s emotional levees break at the chorus with the emergence of a sure-fire synth line and some amped up kick drum to issue in the singer’s touching expression of gratitude: “you are my repeating angel/not once but twice/ you are my – you save me half the time!”

And, for good measure, the last twenty seconds devolves into funky video game shit.

For all of us who were underwhelmed by the latest Arcade Fire – this is where high-emotion indie rock is, definitively, at.

Listen to “repeating angel” here on Youtube. Crush comes out in a little less than two weeks. Abe Vigoda just rolled through the Great American Music Hall (anybody go?) but, rest assured, they’ll be back.

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  • Comwiz

    Great article on a great album, however I must disagree with the statement regarding the Arcade Fire in the sense that (IMO) it was not a complete wet blanket. Thanks for the enlightenment.