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Trench Party: Decadence  

Terminal Detour

Over the last few years, Trench Party's Jake Cook has churned-out several low-fi CDRs, in photocopied sleeves, documenting all of the angst, wit and wily ruminations of a talented songwriter in the process of discovering his voice. Think early Beck, Pavement or Sebadoh and you're on the right page. Decadence steps up the operation on all fronts, from the packaging to the robust but still warbling melodies heard on such gems as "The Dander of Thieves" and "Mind On the Parmesan." Cook shrugs off any prior punk inflections to focus on pop form, although he keeps the homespun sound quality close at heart. The layers of live drums and drum machine beats feel expansive on "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys Too," but there's still an air of awkward discovery here. Though he's not quite there yet, Trench Party's vision is becoming clear. And Decadence is a mature offering that moves beyond the fractured aesthetic that's propelled him along thus far. (4 out of 5 stars)

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