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CD Review: Cement Stars' Form & Temper

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Charlotte indie rock quintet Cement Stars follows up 2009's Geometrics with the six-song EP, Form & Temper. What originally started as a duo consisting of brothers Shaun and Bryan Olson has grown as much in lineup as it has in musical output. Though the band started out with an electronic '80s influence on its debut, the new album has transformed into more of an indie-rock soundscape that surrounds the listener. Soft vocals float dreamily on top of guitar plucks and static drums, carried along by keyboard waves and fuzzed riffs on the opener, "Passable Ghost." Tribal drumming kicks off "Holograms" while bouncing guitar notes lead into "Fractals." The tones leading the listener along on "Misguided Sons" are reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky. Newest member, keyboardist Enid Valu, lends a nice touch with her vocal harmonies scattered around the songs, giving both depth and balance to the reverb-fueled vocals of Bryan Olson. "Ivy" — which will also be featured on the upcoming Creative Loafing compilation Homebrew Vol. 5 — is one of the most listener-friendly songs the band has written, with its catchy riff, haunting vocals and foot-tapping rhythm that make it feel both fresh and familiar. The album wraps by dipping a toe back into '80s influences with the keyboard-driven "Run With The Night." The band will celebrate the album's release with a show at Snug Harbor on Oct. 21.

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