Maps & Atlases

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Perch Patchwork (2010), 6.5/10
Beware and Be Grateful (2012), 5/10
Lightlessness Is Nothing New (2018), 4/10

Chicago's quartet Maps & Atlases (vocalist Dave Davison, guitarist Erin Elders, bassist Shiraz Dada and drummer Chris Hainey) debuted with the EPs Tree Swallows Houses (Sargent House, 2006) and You and Me and the Mountain (2008), whose skewed polyrhythmic songs evoked a cross between King Crimson and Pere Ubu.

Their album Perch Patchwork (Barsuk, 2010) veered towards a poppier sound with melodic songs that are slightly off-center like Living Decoration and Solid Ground, with even detours into folk-rock (Israeli Caves, somewhere between R.E.M. and Fairport Convention) and Art Bears-esque prog-rock (Perch Patchwork). But it's hard to salvage something from Beware and Be Grateful (2012), which is neither adventurous nor particularly melodic. The feverish Bugs maybe.

Lightlessness Is Nothing New (2018) contains more danceable songs like Fog and the Fall.

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