+/- (plus/minus) - You Are Here

Teenbeat

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+/- (plus/minus) - You Are Here

Though most reviews quickly tag +/- as the side project of Versus’ James Baluyut (as this one has now just done), the band is a creative force in its own right. Baluyut throws listeners curveball after curveball, not letting critics peg his musical style with a hyphenated adjective such as “art-rock” or “post-post-punk” like we so love to do. You Are Here opens with a pulsing dance-bass drum beat, an arpeggiated guitar riff, and slightly muffled vocals. Techno beats, rock guitar riffs and live drums float in and out of the remainder of the tune.

The rest of the album is no more predictable—the electronic beat and synths of “Surprise!” echo Depeche Mode; the acoustic strumming of "Summer Dress 1 (All Her Winter Clothes)" draws obvious comparisons to Nick Drake. You might not know what +/- is going to do next, but you can rest safe in the knowledge that it will probably make you bob your head and smile.

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