American Analog Set 

Set Free

A steady drone brushes at the heels of guitarist Andrew Kenney's wistful croon, like breakers on a barren shore. Not as hazy or shimmering as most dream pop, American Analog Set surfs a clean, insistent thrum that infects your consciousness much like those burbling brook tapes. The Dallas, Texas, quintet's sixth album, Set Free, hews close to the model of previous efforts: pulsing guitar, toasty warm melodies and a somnambulant rhythm that's not so much loping as restrained.

The music's light touch and airy ambience allows it to sidle easily in and out of awareness, like a musical Zelig disappearing into the fringe of your attention. At times, it's so innocuous you almost yearn for a rock to disturb the placid surface. While it can be limited in its moods, the album exudes such a pleasant vibe, it's difficult not to be drawn in, particularly on tracks such as the breezy, folk-pop-ish opener "Born on the Cusp," the acoustic guitar-driven, Flaming Lips-ish "She's Half," and bossa nova-flavored instrumental "(Theme from) Everything Ends." One of the album's highlights is its nod to slowcore predecessors Codeine, a cover of "Jr." While not designed for all climates and moods, AAS forges music of subtle, unassuming beauty.

American Analog Set plays the Earl Fri., Dec. 2, 9:30 p.m., and Sat., Dec. 3, 4:30 p.m. $10. 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.


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