Once the most prolific of the experimental, lo-fi rock bands to ever fall under the Guided by Voices spell, Centro-Matic left the manic '90s behind and began to patiently reconcile alt-country and noise-art. The Denton, Texas, band's new album, Candidate Waltz, is its first since 2008's Dual Hawks: a split double LP with invisible soundtrack alter-ego South San Gabriel. The new album is a compelling, accessible set of Crazy Horse guitar rides, studio-bent tone-scapes, piano and acoustic guitar ballads and the tumbling thunder and tough time shifts from a great rock rhythm section. Singer and songwriter Will Johnson still pours out enigmatic, half-broken chains of images; his sense of history — public and private — is ever enigmatic. The band delivers those psychic perils with the joy and craft of the great pop band it never knew it was.
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