Record Review 

The distressing strum and jangle of Bloomington, Ind., Panoply Academy isn't easily forgotten, even after the group has gone away. Everything Here Was Built to Break is a posthumous collection of singles and non-album tracks that encapsulate the group's most essential and obscure material released throughout the '90s. This link in Panoply's evolutionary chain harvests bleak rhythms and searing sonic scuffs in one definitive document of disjointed parallels.

Conceptually speaking, the group draws comparisons to everyone from Pavement to Pere Ubu. Songs such as "The Acquisition" and "Remedial Symmetry" swell with emotionally wrought vocal melodies that recall the bedroom din of the lo-fi '90s. "Camp Keep the Quiet" is a goth-tinged doom and gloom anthem. "Lingo" rattles with an eclectic lurch that's wise beyond its indie-rock milieu.

But the group hasn't suffered so much from a personality crisis as it has from being ahead of its time. Vocalist Darin Glenn's whinnying vibrato in an oppressive cover of Nick Drake's "Harvest Breed" predates and devours Devendra Banhart's Tiny Tim impersonations. And the Rapture's schmaltzy pillaging of the Cure's catalog has nothing on "We." But unlike the Rapture, Panoply is much greater than the sum of its influences. The odds and sods pieced together in Everything Here Was Built to Break clasps a link in the chain where indie rock and avant-garde form an integral and unbreakable connection.

- Chad Radford


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