CD Review: Aloha

Home Acres (Polyvinyl)

Starting with 2006's Some Echoes, Aloha began to temper their former soft post-rock in favor of a poppier approach. That record was a jarring departure for the band's fan base, which had become accustomed to the jazzy tones of its earliest work. Echoes retained some progressive flavor, but the more song-centric side of the band was given full-flower on 2007's fine Light Works. This movement toward a fusion of their experimental past and poppy present continues on Home Acres. As they move away from some of their older influences, Aloha make an impressive transition to more concise songcraft here. The album adds energy to the mix, like on "Searchlight" and "Blackout." Longtime fans of the former Clevelanders (one guy still makes his home here) will find solace in "Microviolence"'s marimba and "Moonless March"'s furious instru-mental middle section. Perhaps the most striking thing about Home Acres is the push and pull of album closer "Ruins," where the band toes the precarious line between pop- and post-rock. Aloha rise above the physical challenges on Home Acres, improbably finding common ground on their tightest and brightest record. — Drabick