Blah blah blah something about punk rock, blah blah blah something about how it's been ten years since their first album, blah blah blah every press release I've read about this LP in the past two weeks. Oh fuck, I'm already going to that phase of writing when there's no need for sarcasm or cynicism. Actually, given the eons-long (in terms of music) pause of ten years for the Ric Rizzo and Tara Key duo project to start again, this should be a huge pique to my interests. It's on a label I generally like and admire, it's a follow up to a pretty decent record that I'd be inclined to call "alterna-indie-folk-type music," but that would be stupid. Even with the cohesiveness of this second full length, Double Star, it's still difficult to throw this into a genre (something I generally despise anyways), what with its bordering on "alt-folk-post-indie-acousto-rock" or some shit like that. Dammit. I just read back what is here on the page so far and it really seems like I almost don't like this album, which is not the case. I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the more enjoyable things I've heard recently, but when we're talking about Lil B mixtapes and Realicide videos on YouTube for laughs, that's not too much effort. But there, I did it again! Ugh. This is becoming futile. Let's just go over the music.

So this isn't bad. It isn't great, but it's damn enjoyable. Rizzo and Key manage to, once again, make a collection of genuinely pleasant tunes, instruments doing all the speaking needed. And while at times things tend to get, oh shall we say, a bit lackluster, nothing here is an egregious enough offense to music or sequencing that I need decry the offering as it stands. I've decided: in lieu of a song-by-song review, I will instead present some information on an unwitting experiment I did.

Per usual, after I had unarchived the album, grabbed a beverage (water, usually, sometimes coffee), and launched my media player, I began the ritual of casually browsing through whatever album I will review. This merely gives me an idea of the angle I should approach, in terms of the style and what I can determine the general pace to be. After that, I took a few days off from this album to focus on other reviews and some personal crap (mostly cleaning and errands), then returned to this album for a full go over. Once in headphones, once on laptop speakers, again in headphones while walking, then as background music while I talked with my housemate about Deleuze. It turns out that Double Star performs unusually well as background music. You see, dear reader, whilst listening to this album in headphones I found myself casually reading articles online, casually reading normal books, and even sorting files. While it played during a typical walk to a local used book and record store, I was able to focus fully on the banalities of the urban setting: traffic signals, trees & shrubberies, sales and concert posters, the pedestrian traffic in my immediate vicinity and a half-block ahead. Normally when listening to my preferred walking music, I find my mind focusing more on the audio and less on the people, a willing denial of my space, a knowing striation of my personal space. Even on the trip I took today to said shop, I found myself focusing more on the Storm & Stress and Cornelius I had playing than the cross-street and almost missed another stop I wanted to make beforehand. Why mention these trivial things and almost give you a voyeuristic look into my own habits? Why, because there's some corroboration for my opinions of this album. While going over what I had already written and edited in this very review, some dreaded earwig of doubt began to scratch at my brain, am I coming off as too harsh on this album? I don't mean to fully say or even imply that this album is only suited for filling dead air. On the contrary, it's the kind of ting you know you can easily use to score your surroundings.

But there's the issue: this album is almost too innocuous at times. It's a common pitfall of this style of instrumental music. Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, and even Mogwai fall into the same trap. It's when the sound produced is dynamic, but not fully engaging for some unknown reason. There's nothing here that should make this an album worthy of such abhorrent descriptors. Double Star, at its core, is a well-composed, well-recorded, well mixed, and well-sequenced disc. It might be the slower moments of tracks like 'Roundabout Ways' that gently waft in the doldrums of pedal steel and volume controlled guitar sweeps, or it might be the gentle cradling of the repetition obvious in the title of 'Loop 2' (the same caress that exists throughout most songs graces 'Loop 2' in full). The causer of this could reside in 'Forgiven,' a song that could use drums from a Yume Bitsu song (but obviously doesn't), or in 'Insanity Stomp' what with the post-'Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind' Krautrock backbone. No, it sounds like I don't like this again. Screw this. Here's the best way I can possibly put it:

If Erik Satie were still alive, he would be elated at how well this encapsulates his concept of furniture music.

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