Nocturnal Habits
New Skin For Old Children [LP; Glacial Pace]

I didn’t even realize it: Nocturnal Habits is Justin Trosper from Unwound. OH MAN. Also, he’s joined by Dale Crover (dude, don’t even) on a cut or two, not to mention Sara Lund, his Unwound cohort. Sad thing is, a record like New Skin For Old Children could easily get lost in the fray of ‘what’s-coming-out-today/tomorrow’ madness. Let’s see it doesn’t, as Trosper hooks into a whole new zone of inspiration that, while not by any means eclipsing his past masters, adds a fresh chapter to a story that should easily keep our attention until he chooses to leave us. “Good Grief” is a decent tune with a chorus I just can’t get behind, but listen to the guitar on the verses! Not to mention the little touches, like a break for what sounds to me like a triangle solo (don’t see those two words together enough). Then “Back to Snowdonia,” along with reminding me of that wonderful album by Daedelus, Of Snowdonia, ushers in another blank slate aesthetically, with a more urgent vibe pulling on the traditional indie-rock mix of guitar, bass, and drums. The latter two know exactly how to play off each other, while Trosper seems to float above the rhythms like a hang-glider, darting in and out of their simple parts. Jumping to the flip, “New Skin” is perhaps the most modern of the tracks on offer here, layered heavily and oozing more of that digital-age concern (stopping short of paranoia, for now) we’ve all become accustomed to, while “Ice Island” is more of a radiant sketch than a full-blooded burner. “Dog Meets Wolf” fills another nook in the post-indie-rock continuum I was barely aware of, and yet its elusive origins bring to mind Enon and some of those inspiring Unwound guitar leads, so it’s not THAT far off the map if you’ve already traversed Trosper’s catalog. New Skin For Old Children, while it might not make as much of a dent, deserves to be cited alongside Thurston Moore’s (and other’s) recent, reinvigorated recorded works when it comes to leading lights of experimental rock jarring our consciousness once again. Whether you checked out Trosper’s semi-recent act Survivial Knife or not, give Nocturnal Habits a whirl.

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