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Black Tambourine: Black Tambourine

Music Reviews Black Tambourine
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Black  Tambourine: <em>Black Tambourine</em>

Gauzy shoegaze transcends its era

Some reissues work because they winnow a voluminous discography down to manageable size.

This one does the opposite. Washington, D.C., noise-poppers Black Tambourine had the briefest of careers between the ’80s and ’90s, and this new collection of the band’s complete works inflates its output from a prior compilation’s 10 songs to a whopping 16, four of them recorded a year ago. Formally, the band straddles Shop Assistants-referencing Brit-indie, My Bloody Valentine-esque shoegaze and a Heavenly-like neo-girl group attitude, slathering feedback all over the slow-mo pining of “Black Car” and revving into stark rave-up mode on “Throw Aggi Off the Bridge.” Black Tambourine can be amateurish: “Can’t Explain” seems as if it’s being held together with chewed-up licorice and broken guitar strings. But it also builds to a fine frenzy that fans of Vivian Girls will find pleasantly familiar.

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