While conventional wisdom says you can't judge a book by its cover, the same adage doesn't usually hold true for band names. You can probably assume that Cradle of Filth and Napalm Death are no more emo bands than the Starting Line or Brand New are death-metal shit-stirrers. Nevertheless, take an outfit with an enigmatically symbolic name like +/-, and its genre classification isn't immediately discernible. Are they a brainy IDM project? Avant-garde indie-rock experimentalists? Perhaps a (har, har) math-rock outfit?
Ironically enough, the actual sound of the N.Y.C. trio -- the brainchild of ex-Versus members James Baluyut and Patrick Ramos -- encompasses all those guesses but the last on its second album, You Are Here. An odd but intriguing combination of power-pop crooning, throbbing electronic slurring, and fuzzy rock riffage, Here vacillates between moments of antagonistic, humans-vs.-machines battles; glitchy, softly glowing synthpop; folksy placidity; and Joy Division's sustained chords, reimagined by a bright-eyed new-wave pop band.
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