Sleeping In The Aviary

Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel

[3/5]

A night sleeping beneath the birds is likely to be, uh, aromatic and streaky. It’s kind of a cringeworthy image, but the sawdust and feathers it evokes well capture this album’s aesthetic, as does its excellent (if graphic) title. Not always the easiest listen, Sleeping In The Aviary’s songs inevitably crackle like bad wiring. A highlight is the careening burner “Gas Mask Blues,” with its Tom Waits-esque trainwreck ending and shit-cool slide guitar. At other times, the consciously lo-fi production values and distant, echoed vocals sound like hiccupped Conor Oberst toss-offs left in the sun for too long. With its faux-Replacements studio banter and deliberately tin-canned guitars, “Girl In The Ground” is catchy indie rock over-underproduced to distraction. Still, there’s an engaging, dank and irreverent energy. A pose or two less, and the band might be on to something. (SCIENCE OF SOUND) Jeff Leven