Film School: Hideout

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Film School: Hideout

Revamped band returns to reliable sounds

Despite being perennially in flux, with songwriter/vocalist Greg Bertens seemingly recruiting a new set of members for every release, Film School manages to always sound the same.

Now on its third full-length, and with three new members in tow, the San Francisco quintet picks up where 2006’s self-titled release left off, with familiar layers of guitar reverb, lumbering grooves and morosely malted vocals pulsing and oscillating into a languid sonic mass. Any innovation comes via the addition of Lorelei Plotczyk, her soft harmonies and grunting bass lines adding an ominous edge to the rattling and rumbling “Lectric” and the wistfully swooning “Go Down Together.” Otherwise, the band ventures a bit farther out into the krautrock minimalism and gothy synth-pop hinted at on previous releases, but the single-minded reliance on soft atmosphere and open space results in very few surprises.

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