Are you embarrassed around your closest friends? Suffer from unsightly outcroppings of polo shirts and pastels? Every so often do you unintentionally leak enthusiasm for Vampire Weekend? It's all right — Abe Vigoda is here to help. The tropical punk quartet is the next in line, after No Age, to fill its sails with whatever is wafting out of downtown L.A.'s gutter-fabulous all-ages mecca The Smell, and the attention the band will no doubt reap will be just as deserved. Skeleton, the group's third album in four years, is a brimming Technicolor pool of splashy drums, buoyant percussive bits, distorted sound waves, lilting vocals, and Abe's signature flourish — clean, bright guitars that chime like the amplified thumb pianos of Congolese beat-masters Konono Nº 1. Songs such as "Bear Face" and "The Garden" are breezy and thick, full of image-rich poetry, and prone to sudden rhythm shifts. But through all the pretty noise, a tightness pervades that makes Abe Vigoda the unintentional but wholly fortunate (and guiltless) improvement upon Vampire Weekend — one whose style is decidedly more United Colors of Benetton than American Apparel.
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