Dada Trash Collage: Rain War

Rain War feels too big for a four-song EP. The number of moods and textures covered in 26 minutes is greater than most bands transmit during a career; the gravity of this feat is even more impressive considering this is the group's third release since their January 2009 debut, Old Folks Home. It's evident that Rain War builds on Dada Trash Collage's previous works. Echoing vocals still seep through layers of hypnotic organs and drums. But thanks to producer Scott Colburn (Arcade Fire, Animal Collective), the band's selection of looped noises is more focused and collaborated. Lost also is the urban undertone. In its beginning, the band experimented with splicing mechanical, harsh tones among a dream-pop base, playing with the realms of anxiety and calm. This album involves much more warmth and breeze, comparable to High Places or Atlas Sound. The opener, "Watching You Paint Your Nose," grows from simple tribal rhythms, slowly sprouting loops of gentle glockenspiels, synth, and vocals in harmony. "Slow Death in the Midwest" feels vaguely like calypso spun out with effects until the song's middle, when a devastatingly elegant piano solo melts away the frenetic energy, fading out to allow William Freed-Samples's cathartic howl to well up with emotion. The EP's title track is perhaps its best. Jungle-inspired drum rolls patter beneath synth lines alternating between emulating rolling waves and caffeinated throbs. "More to Life Than Surprise," the EP's closer, masks Freed-Samples's voice in so much distortion that it sounds ghostly, but also alluring. With the track's slow-moving keyboards and simple clicks and taps of percussion, Dada Trash Collage pleasantly slows the previous songs' rustling. Rain War may be the band's well-executed stopgap, but it's not surprising that with the duo's breakneck pace of record releases, a new full-length is scheduled for April.

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