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Califone Quicksand and Cradlesnakes

Califone's second full-length inhales sun-baked dust and exhales pure shimmer. Combining desert mirages, slow motion tumbleweed sweeps, and shards of glitch, Ben Massarella and Tim Rutili get inventive, unafraid to mix startling tech textures into their alt-country palette. Deftly manipulated feedback and under-the-radar effects make for an album at once simply present and elegantly prescient. Gorgeously elliptical lyrics give way to subtle tool shed jam sessions that are anything but hokey. Think you hate country? Quicksand And Cradlesnakes rocks in a whispered language of grit and airy twangs, and you'd do well to get yourself a copy and listen to "Vampiring Again" on repeat.

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