Centro-matic : Candidate Waltz

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For Texas-based band Centro-matic, Candidate Waltz transcends mere album title.Intrinsically intimate and rhythmic, the disc plays like a drawn-out dance: Initially timid and distant, it crescendos into an up-close, catchy, and noteworthy experience for both audience and musician.

“Against the Line” introduces the band from a distance – but only for an instant. Blaring guitar cuts in, sending a sonic shock that overshadows the band’s vocals in a not-quite symbiosis. Those vocals strengthen in “All the Talkers,” the assonant, Strokes-esque second track. The gravelly voice, the catchy hook, the ear for melody:  Each element transports listeners to the live show, bringing them one step closer to front row.

Third track and lead single “Iso-Residue” seemingly shifts us to chemistry class, but its staccato, static-y, and slick-yet-sticky beat easily sticks to our bones. “Estimate X 3” continues this offbeat titles trend, albeit, in a slowed-down, background fashion. Its charging guitars remain in the shadows, but beg to surface.   

For all of these positives, one track clearly triumphs: “Only in My Double Mind” is a supercharged, driving, and surprisingly authentic mish-mash of decades. Chants of “ooh, ooh” recall a classic rock show. What more could you need?    

Pulsing closer “If They Talk You Down” brings the band full circle. The first track’s guitar returns with a vengeance, setting the tone for the disc’s tense, suspenseful, but ultimately satisfying farewell.

Candidate Waltz is available now via Undertow.

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