Led by vocalist-songwriter Steve Leggett, the loose confederation of musicians that is Ann Arbors Buzzrats has hand-delivered the goods with Cartoon Twilight, the groups sophomore release. Cartoon Twilight is a rough, inspiring ride, skillfully traversing the craggy course between deliberate orchestration and the first-thought-equals-best-thought spontaneity of rocks most immediately affecting work. The songs here breathe with diversity from the bar boogie rave-up of "Maybe Dont Go" to the sticky, slo-mo nostalgia of the title track. And on "Long Blue Sleeves," the Rats preach wearily about "bright shadows on the edges" and "beautiful machines" atop thick twirling layers of electrical guitars that wouldnt sound out of place in modern-day space rock. Spiritualized, indeed. Cartoon Twilights distinct blend of gospel organ, swamp rhythm, avant-noise and country twang hovers loosely above singer Leggetts appealingly Lomaxian folk aesthetic creating a mood thats both reverent to the past and surprisingly fresh. On "Like a Ghost Who Knows" halfway through the disc, the Buzzrats pose the question: "Post modern, now what does that mean?" In the Cartoon Twilight, the answer comes easy, like a big, beautiful, born-again ache.
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