Midwest Product

Midwest Product's new album, the Ann Arbor-based trio's followup to last year's decidedly more blue-collar gem, Specifics, finds them exchanging glitch for an airy pop sensibility. Not exactly a surprise when it's titled World Series of Love and a thick stream of rainbow graces its white cover. But after a bit of disbelief and, upon flipping the case over, reading the title "Avant Poop" after a mere seven tracks, all paranoid notions of a trendy Bravo hipster makeover are easily dispelled. Besides, Rocky, J.D. Salinger's paperbacks inspired this rainbow.

Unlike the rest of Ghostly International's adroit stable (which includes phenoms Dabrye and Matthew Dear), Midwest Product gets bizzy with both electronics and ye ol' axe and chisels. The rather safe opener "Dead Cat" is whisked into gear by guitar and percussion before "Bank" (here's hoping you've never heard Fear Factory's remake of "Cars") emits a smell of Eighties nerd cheese. Not too rad with so few remaining tracks. But ethereally shifting fractal explosions like "Swamp" and "Duckpond" bust open the planetarium, leaving "Umbrella" to go supernova as you ponder the cosmos and love like a (seemingly content) Ghostly ghost.

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Hunter Stephenson