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Album Review

Grizzly Bear, 'Veckatimest'

June 1, 2009
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Indie Rock
Grizzly Bear Veckatimest
Warp
ESSENTIAL "Two Weeks"
Grizzly Bear plays at Berklee Performance Center Wednesday, with Here We Go Magic opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.50 at 617-876-4275 or www.worldmusic.org.

Grizzly Bear's evocative chamber pop has always been in search of the right film - probably foreign, perhaps set in the late-'70s in sun-dappled California, and most definitely epic. The beauty of the Brooklyn quartet's latest, "Veckatimest," is that it builds on Grizzly Bear's already impressive catalog, sounding even more cinematic and preened over in painstaking detail. Easily the band's most engrossing and dense album yet, "Veckatimest" subsumes the listener in dreamy washes of colliding instrumentation and symphonic crescendos. Ed Droste's vocals, as usual, glisten and glide in synch with the melodies, and fellow singer Daniel Rossen is as tenderhearted as ever on the simmer and swell of "All We Ask." Opening to the plunk of stark piano notes, "Two Weeks" takes shape amid a swirl of Brian Wilson-approved harmonies and a cacophony of plodding backup. A misconception is that Grizzly Bear sometimes gets lost in its own haze, but "Veckatimest" features a few of the band's most overt rockers (well, for Grizzly Bear, at least). "While You Wait for the Others" bears its teeth in jagged instrumental outbursts, and "About Face" retains a lush undercurrent while kicking the tempo up a notch. (Out now) JAMES REED