Editors' pick

Disappears and Woven Bones


Editorial Review

The debut albums by Chicago's Disappears and Austin's Woven Bones succeed because both bands follow a simple rule: using the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man" as inspiration, one of the best strategies in rock-and-roll.

That Lou Reed-penned tune -- a chugging, druggy masterpiece -- serves as a common template, but not a crutch. Disappears' two-guitar attack allows both power chords and trippy leads to mingle in a sea of reverb. There are woozy moments on "Lux" in which off-kilter drums and guitar effects create a sonic stew. Such songs as "Gone Completely" and "New Cross" are more the norm, achieving the somewhat paradoxical feat of being succinct drone rock.

Woven Bones is more stripped-down and sinister than spacey on "In and Out and Back Again." The group is a trio, so there are fewer embellishments and more primal pounding. Songs are built on thumping rhythms and Andy Burr's sneering vocals. Melodic bits and pieces sneak out once in a while, but Woven Bones wins over listeners by sheer force as opposed to an abundance of hooks.

-- David Malitz, June 2010