"Twin Cinema"


Pop musicians may think their creativity is inexhaustible, but most bands suffer when their members record solo albums or moonlight in other groups. Not so Vancouver's New Pornographers, which began as a side project.

With the new "Twin Cinema," the band sounds full-blown and full-time, even though it isn't the latter. Singer Neko Case has a solo career, guitarist Dan Bejar plays with Destroyer (which will open for the Pornographers at the 9:30 club) and principal songwriter A.C. Newman released a solo album, "The Slow Wonder," last year.

The latter seems to have had an effect, but it's a good one. Although this set includes some songs that are as sweet and fizzy as the material on the group's two previous albums, it often emulates "The Slow Wonder's" greater range of dynamics and emotions. "The Bleeding Heart Show" moves from fragile ballad to surging singalong, and "Sing Me Spanish Techno" swings the other way, from raucous verses into a choirboy chorus. Such duality is even the punch line of the title track, which trills that "they're showing us on both screens." Actually, "Twin Cinema" is more of a multiplex. There's no Spanish techno here, but the album is stuffed with hooks, twists, fleeting homages and bigger beats than ever before. This is one well-centered side project.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Saturday at the 9:30 club with Destroyer and Immaculate Machine.

The New Pornographers began as a side project, but it doesn't sound like one on "Twin Cinema."