Dave Bazan may have graduated from the Doug Martsch School of DIY musicianship, but he still plays well with other kids. Since he released Winners Never Quit as a one-man band in 1999, he's added Casey Foubert on bass/keyboards and Trey Many on drums. On Pedro the Lion's latest release, Bazan has also substituted acute contemplation for that album's chronic optimism, making Control a case study of the freshly wounded American Dream. Bazan's melancholy musings house a deconstructed sensibility ("Second best/I can learn to live with this/Plus I really need a rest") and clever pillow-embroidery ("If it isn't making dollars/Then it isn't making sense"). "Rapture," Control's standout track, weds choppy guitar and snare with a soaring chorus capable of kicking at least one corner of the bottom sheet off the mattress.
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