Centro-matic: Candidate Waltz  

Self-released

Centro-matic is one of those bands that's been around for years yet still toils and tours just under the radar, releasing album after consistent album but never quite breaking the Pitchfork barrier. Of course, the band's commercial nonexistence is a blessing in disguise; if the stakes stay steady, you can make exactly the kind of music you want to make. That's just what Centro-matic continues to do with the sure-footed Candidate Waltz. It's an affirmative new development for the band, whose remarkable reliability to this point has nonetheless flirted with uniformity. Candidate Waltz is overall a cleaner-sounding record than Centro-matic albums past. Tracks such as the effervescent "Iso-Residue" are among the sharpest songwriter Will Johnson has penned ("You're always scrapin' your own rails"). Can't say Candidate Waltz will take the world by storm, but that ain't Centro-matic's game, anyway. (4 out of 5 stars)

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