Pushing the envelope even further, Things Shaped in Passing moves with the viscosity of syrup. Snail-paced concertos -- nine vignettes in all -- ebb and flow with lots of the same idiosyncrasies: pizzicato guitars, moaning lap steel, and random percussion. Properly fused, the band's instrumentation yields lonesome elegance ("Now Like Photographs") and amazing six-minute daydreams ("Sleeping Diagonally"), which swell from groggy guitars and grand piano into epics of lap steel and slide work.
Still, Things isn't as eclectic as the band's previous effort, and it has a tendency to wallow in its own repetition. Filler like "Spaces Between Days (Parts 3 & 4)" feels stripped of cohesion and almost purposefully obtuse. Thankfully, these moments are brief and sufferable in the group's continued exploration of sound and commercial disobedience.