Rhythm & Views

Bon Savants

Boston's Bon Savants maintain that their music is a "greater rebellion against the second law of thermodynamics," greater than the very existence of life itself: "Life is temporary defiance of the will of an entropic universe," writes singer/songwriter/guitarist Thom Moran (who used to work as a scientist at MIT). "We all stand with hands in our pockets and think, 'Yeah, that's right. Fuck you, thermodynamics.'"

Post Rock Defends the Nation does manage to maintain the complexity needed for things to not lapse into a state of monotony: "What We Need" and "Why This Could Never Work Between Us" sound like the Strokes covering XTC, but then "Between the Moon and the Ocean" moves with a subtle disco guitar melody, and just when you think the song is going to explode into the traditional guitar-wall of noise, you hear castanets. Yes, castanets. "Final Grade" is a post-rock waltz, and the album ends with a delay-pedal-heavy, dreamy pop song called "I Am the Atom Bomb."

The title track, though, is where the Bon Savants really show off their ability to mask sentiment in musical understatement: "The revolution's at hand. Let's form a rock 'n' roll band," sings Moran in an almost emotionless voice. The guitars sweep like they would in a love song, and Moran sings, "Let's drink until there's a world again, and talk of new beginnings." Apathy and ironic detachment, meet your maker. Fuck you, thermodynamics, indeed.

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