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CD Review: Asobi Seksu “Fluorescence”

Whoever claims it’s best to shrug off the past and peer solely at the road ahead is a mendacious son of a bitch. All we do is look back. Entire lives unroll in the amber glow of reminiscence in order to abscond the dreaded manacles awaiting us upon the snap of our stupor. Hell, we probably even manipulate the fabric of these good ol’ days more than we’d like to admit, shifting a strand here and there to repel spirit-dampening pocks of truth and exalt the luster of langsyne.

It’s been quite a rocky ride for Asobi Seksu since the release of its breakout full-length Citrus in 2006. It wasn’t a flawless sophomore LP, but the guys and gal were evidently getting somewhere by bundling the small-fish, cosmopolitan flavor of indie-pop in shoegaze’s fractured brume. Follow-up Hush aimed to polish the outfit’s craft, slimming its veils of noise and presenting deliberate, cascading entries rearing heads that could regrettably moonlight as tails. The bite had been squandered. More vitally, the fields trodden had shriveled to a sour stuffiness. The album feels cloistered, these serpentine numbers closing in on themselves rather than gamboling across a glittering vista to flout omnipresent tethers to, well, everything a gaggle of wet-behind-the-ears kids would want to flout.