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Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

Volcano Choir

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Milwaukee’s Collections of Colonies of Bees have been doing electro-acoustic post-rock for more than a decade. The group’s friend, alt folkie Justin Vernon of Eau Claire’s Bon Iver, has become an internationally hailed indie sensation over the past couple of years. Their collaborative act, Volcano Choir, brings together the best of everyone involved. Systematic staccato motifs, surging crescendos, drones, plinks and chimes mesh organically with Vernon’s tempered, haunted musings.

The latter may not be born of the same grief that inspired Bon Iver’s breakout, For Emma, Forever Ago, but Vernon sounds as beautifully forlorn as ever. When the proceedings threaten to break into chaos, they remain grounded in Vernon’s anguished tone and the Collections’ nimble discipline. The balance of experimentalism and accessibility certainly will draw fans of Volcano Choir’s constituent members, but those who appreciate bands with similarly diverse sensibilities, such as Sigur Ros and Grizzly Bear, may likewise want to get to the center of this Volcano.