Which leads us to Slow Dazzle, the "experimental" side project of Shannon McArdle and Timothy Bracy of the marginal alternafolk collective Mendoza Line. The duo has temporarily ditched the twelve-string and pedal steel for a few electronic devices: processed guitar, pitch-bent synths and simple drum-machine beats. The instrumentation can be effective, such as on "Welfare State," wherein the swell of the organ fits nicely against the death-rattle rhythm. But all the experimentation in the world can't hide the fact that this is a singer-songwriting act that can't sing worth a damn: McArdle struggles to stay on key, and Bracy's world-weary affectation is laughable. Maybe the couple is experimenting with atonality, or perhaps they are pushing the limits of boring songwriting. Either way, The View from the Floor is a view best avoided.
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