Solid outing from indie stalwarts
Fearlessly updating ’70s soft rock for The O.C. set, Aqueduct shed any pretense of indie cool with Or Give Me Death. Mixing reverb-y, Brian Wilson-inspired vocals with strutting Chicago horns and fuzzy prog-rock synthesizers, vocalist and songwriter David Terry writes songs brimming with ambition and bitter overstatement. And just when the heart-on-sleeve earnestness and pastel synths seem to be in danger of becoming a bit too precious, he'll slip in a wavering vocal or a glammy guitar line to add a little textural weight to the mix. It's hardly perfect, but it's bolder, more complex, and ultimately a more fulfilling release for this band.