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Treble & Tremble

Wednesday, Sep 29 2004
If the California indie rock realm were a high school, you might say that Earlimart's main man, Aaron Espinoza, was being primped for the position of prom king. After establishing himself as the go-to production/recording don of Los Angeles' east side -- by means of running with the likes of Grandaddy, the Breeders, Folk Implosion, and the late Elliott Smith -- Espinoza caused a splash with 2003's Everyone Down Here and a diet of steady touring back and forth between the coasts. While his band's latest, Treble & Tremble, continues in the same soft-sung, psychedelic pop manner found on Everyone, what results is actually a more personal, tender record, dealing with themes of loss and alienation: Espinoza's proximity to Smith is clear throughout, and the record is admittedly about episodes leading up to and surrounding his death. Regardless of the tragic attachments though, the string-laden codas, juicy acoustics, and subtle electro-drums interrupted by the occasional Ringo-fill make for a stunning album.

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Abigail Clouseau


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