Pendler - You Come To Me
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You Come To Me

Pendler is a trio of musicians who work across geographic distances to create music that doesn't seem hemmed in by any particular genre boundaries. On their debut album You Come To Me, the group mixes everything from queasy slow-core guitar-based rock to almost Morr Music-esque programming, for a release that's slightly unsettling in places yet warm and inviting in others.

Comprised of a female performance artist, a guitarist, and a programmer/producer, the group certainly has a unique mixture of talent, and their cool and somewhat austere asthetic that reminds me a bit of the earlier releases by Tarwater with perhaps a bit of the less-playful work by Broadcast. The opening couple tracks on the album provide a good glimpse and mixture of just what to expect as "You Come" is a slowly-shifting drone of a track that mixes morphing washes of processed guitar with almost chanted vocals while "Oh Yes" plays out over some muffled beats, weary guitars, and other downcast electronic ephemera that calls to mind work by Hood.

As if that weren't enough variety, "The Saints" find the group covering "Oh When The Saints Go Marching In" in true slow core fashion, mixing lethargic male/female vocal harmonies with sleepy guitars, buzzing feedback drones, and organs. Elsewhere, "Nonono" is even more strange, mixing jangly Americana guitars with ebowed guitars and simple, repeated vocal phrases (basically the single word of the title over and over again) that somehow turn into one of the most engaging tracks on the entire album.

All of the above said, You Come To Me is just too scattered and hit-or-miss to really leave a mark. There are certainly some great moments on the disc, but it really does feel like a debut in that Pendler doesn't really seem to have figured out which direction they want to go in. The goofy album closer of "Schei-Ben" just adds to the confusion, with silly preset drum machine percussion, squealing synths, and pitched-up vocals that make the singer sound like a munchkin. There's some promise here, but it seems like it might take until the next release to really unfold.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-08-24 21:18:37