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Doesn't Casually Smashed to Pieces sound like an album title that should have come out of the early '90s? Fittingly, Causally Smashed to Pieces has this '90s indie-rock air to it, sort of like what Superchunk would have sounded like had they been less angry, with a twinge more country and instrumental. Slide guitar hides behind electric guitars in layered shades of effect, and the songs center around melodies that expand ever so slightly and hypnotically wind around themselves. It sounds like the kind of stuff we listened to while sitting on floors at all-ages venues, or venues that were actually people's houses, or some kind of makeshift space that happened to have bands playing.

Casually Smashed to Pieces sounds youthful, nostalgic, organic, simple and a heck of a lot more peaceful than the title would suggest. A guitar string bends on "Falling Over Evening," and the guitar becomes a beautiful instrument again, uncorrupted by talentless hacks who just want to get girls to sleep with them. The horns on "Confusing Possibilities" blend into a buttery chord, and it sounds almost like a far-away train, a remnant of the past reminding you it's there. Maybe Casually Smashed to Pieces is some sort of long-lost relic from 1993, only now resurfacing, to remind us of how independent music used to be.

More by Annie Holub

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