The Weekend Australian - Review

KHRU­ANG­BIN

- Doug Wallen Entertainment · Music · 2NE1 · Dead Oceans

Dead Oceans

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Genre (or ge­o­graph­i­cal) bound­aries have never trou­bled Khru­ang­bin, a Texas trio formed in 2009 that has an ap­ti­tude for glid­ing from funk and soul to psychedeli­a and surf with silky grace and tran­quil in­tu­ition. On its third al­bum, the band bol­sters its al­ready prodi­gious tool kit by mak­ing vo­cals a fea­ture for the first time, in con­trast with pre­vi­ous re­leases that have been largely in­stru­men­tal in nature. This stylis­tic de­ci­sion al­lows bassist Laura Lee to per­fect a lilt­ing disco de­liv­ery on Time (You and I), while on Pelota she sings in con­fi­dent Span­ish against Mark Speer’s smoothly un­furl­ing, San­tana-es­que gui­tar. Con­nais­sais de Face’s sen­sual spo­ken-word ex­change evokes the clas­sic duet Je T’Aime … Moi Non Plus, while the spir­i­tual med­i­ta­tion If There is No Ques­tion draws on Speer and drum­mer DJ John­son’s stint in a church band dur­ing their youth. The vo­cals can sit fairly far back in the spa­cious, farm­house-recorded mix — es­pe­cially on dub-in­flu­enced opener First Class — but that sim­ply con­firms that this wel­come new in­gre­di­ent is no more im­por­tant than the rest.

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