Stuck Freak Frequency LP

I imagine a lot of folks will like this record. The second LP from this Chicago act is eleven tracks of intricate (almost proggy) polyrhythmic post-punk that acts like URANIUM CLUB or VINTAGE CROP have made popular over the past few years. The music is smart, polished, catchy at times, tastefully noisy at others, with lyrics that take aim at contemporary ills while avoiding being too abstract or preachy. There isn’t much here that will rub you the wrong way. But it’s this lack of friction that I have a problem with. To me, this record sounds immaculate to the point of being antiseptic, impressively engineered but soulless. It’s pretty much the same complaint that I’ve lodged against another beloved contemporary art-punk act that I have to imagine is serving as a bit of inspiration here: PARQUET COURTS. Just imagine that band trading their affinity for dance punk and slacker rock for a love of TALKING HEADS and more overt DEVO worship. Again, it’s hard to point to any one thing and go, “That! That’s the thing that’s bad.” It’s more…well, I’ll just say this—every time I try to visualize what a fan of this music looks like, the image that keeps popping in my head is MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in casual wear. Does that make sense? Probably not.