Sound Team are from Texas, and they recently supported The Walkmen. And you can see why: although they never exude the exhausted, venomous desperation of The Walkmen at their best, Sound Team have a similar fondness for evoking emotion via the medium of soundscape. Their album varies a fair bit within the theme, going from soft, ambient noise to jerking layers of sound superimposed on top of each other, but it's primarily about the wish to create coherent walls of noise.
And it boasts some good moments, both in terms of instrumentation and in terms of emotional impact - but it also has something of a tendency to undermine those moments with a frustrating inconsistency. A case is point is the alternately wavering and stomping 'These Eyes Are Liars', with disconcerting rattlesnake beats behind laser guitar lines but dragged down somewhat by the unnecessarily histrionic vocal. Or the drums in 'Afterglow Years': really powerful; it's just a shame about the slightly limp, whiney feel of the rest of the song
This album, then, provokes a veritable torrent of Qualified Statements. "Well, I really liked that synth part - but don't go saying I condone the whole song, 'cause it's kinda ineffectual". "Hmmm, that's dull oh, no, wait, those drums are great!" And so on and so forth. It's an album with great moments which are suddenly marred just as your ears are getting into it, and with dull songs which pull a saving grace out of the hat moments before you hit the skip button. I suspect that Sound Team have it in them to produce something pretty amazing - but I'm also aware that if you removed everything but the Great Moments from this eleven-song album, you'd probably only sift enough material for three songs. Which means that this averages out as "frustratingly mediocre". Shame