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Noisy Neighbors

Ryan Lee Crosby, ‘Ryan Lee Crosby’


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One of the town's more mercurial musicians finally drops the full-length follow-up to 2009’s excellent “Out to Dry,” and this one’s an overdriven mess of rock fantasy. “There is no compass here to guide us/ Through the wilderness of need” goes one nugget in the narcotic haze of “The Broken Bread,” which lilts through a moody Leonard Cohen acoustic feel as warbly, backward electric guitar uncoils in the background. It’s a weathered effect that brings to mind rusty field recordings and, at the same time, acid-drenched lo-fi excursions of ’60s freaks (maybe even a nod back to his garage-prog days in Cancer to the Stars). Still here are the somber touches of his older, gentler recordings – “Angel of Mercy” hobbles through a rickety mutant dub ballad – but generally this is a distortion-blasted affair through and through. Bass melts through fuzzed tones, decayed loops of feedback eat away at the edges of every song, and drums explode like mailboxes stuffed with fireworks. Crosby, who performed all of the parts on the record (except for a ghostly cameo from Marissa Nadler) even busts out blazing dual guitar solos on the elevated “You.” No boundaries here – Crosby confirms as much, when that song culminates in a declaration that he’s “free as the man you want me to be.” (Out now)

Ryan Lee Crosby plays the Tavern at the End of the World in Charlestown on Friday.
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