|The video to Confetti opener "Weapons For War" begins in a field. There are shots of tall grass and wild flowers and berries, as well as the insects whose drone provides a segue to the song's forthcoming hum. It works really well. A Lull are a Chicago outfit that specialize in rangy, wildly percussive indie pop that takes a lot of its rhythmic cues from Sigur Rós' most recent LP, 2008's Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (translation: "With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly"), as well as that of frontman Jónsi's 2010 solo outing, Go. Both of those records demonstrated the Icelanders' transition into more contained pop formats, though the kineticism of Go in particular is the better jumping off point. Like this wide-open field, it was a record alive at every turn. A Lull seem to be in similar pursuit, tripping up only in figuring out a way to squeeze it all into song form.|
Much of what's to be heard on Confetti scans as a series of thoroughly fleshed-out vocal and rhythmic exercises, many of them so similar they congeal into one. Take for instance the blippy rumble of "Dark Stuff" or that of "Some Love" just before it. While the rhythms and drum sounds vary slightly from one another, the vocal acrobatics of frontman Nigel Evan Dennis tend to glue everything together in an oddly disjointed manner. Elsewhere, "Pregnancy" takes on an industrial punch that still seems to sound of a piece with "Spread It All Around". This, despite the many angles from which he attacks them. From end to end, Dennis delivers a tireless performance: he darts, he dives, he dips, he sprinkles syllables in fizzy staccato and/or he smears them across a song in breathy fashion. Little of this done without an added layer of processing.
While it's clear a lot the textures here have been calibrated just so, the aggressive manner in which this crew opted to produce the record makes for a flat, synthetic sheen that takes a lot away from the multi-dimensional sound multiple drummers can provide. A few years back a North Carolina band made an online splash approaching Animal Collective's pre-Strawberry Jam energy with ears still steeped in a decade's worth of pop-punk and post-emo crunch. The result was bombastic and colorful, but it was also polished in a way that belied the freeform, organic nature of what they seemed to be chasing. That band was Annuals, and A Lull, sonic kin in a lot of ways, have gone a similar route this time out. There are no shortage of interesting directions in which to take music like this. But to package it in a way that strips it of its dynamism, is a good way to shackle it, too. - Pitchfork