Hey, now, all you industry types: The Console War need a record deal! I’m not sure if the band’s name refers to gaming, but the title of their record is apt. The songs you’ll find on “Shards” are indeed fragmented. For example, Up And Out begins like most of the other songs on the album but desconstructs into crashes and lo-fi noiserock. And it eschews a predictable use of feedback, instead getting dusty and fuzzy and fading out into what sounds like a rusty cymbal solo.
As for the rest of the album, it’s downtempo indie rock like The Diggs or Centro-Matic. Harkening back to Velvet Underground rather than Joy Division makes for a nice change, what with all the brit guitar pop on the scene right now, and the rhythm is tight enough to avoid being depressing, and slow enough to make you want to listen at night, with a bottle and a poker game maybe. My main criticism isn’t with the band–it’s with the production. Lo fi is one thing, but the vocals are so low in the mix that in spots I can’t even hear them. With the right producer, though, that’s an easily correctable problem.
“Shards” is the sound of a band finding its voice and looking for a center to its music. They deserve a shot, and I hope they get it.