Quasi: Mole City
It's almost inevitable that if an artist or band is around long enough, they build up enough confidence (and material) to release a double album. If done right, you get masterpieces like the Beatles' White Album, the Stones' Exile on Main St. or Husker Du's Zen Arcade. With Mole City, the Portland, Ore., duo Quasi come pretty close to those marks.
2013 marks the 20th year that Sam Coomes' Rock-Si-Chord, guitar and melodic vocals, alongside Janet Weiss' spot-on drumming and vocal harmonizing, became Quasi. While both did time with Elliott Smith (and Weiss is better known from her days in Sleater-Kinney and now Wild Flag), Quasi retains its unique ramshackle pop sound.
Spanning 24 tracks, Mole City is chock-full of surprises, familiar themes and new directions. The track sequencing really seems to help the album gel, with seven tracks as minute-or-less experimental noise pieces that serve to clear the aural palate before the next group of songs hits your ears.
Fans will enjoy "An Ice Cube in the Sun" and "See You on Mars," with its keyboards-drums-vocal-harmonizing that wouldn't be out of place on early albums like Featuring "Birds". Similarly, the straight-rockin' "Nostalgia Kills" and "Double Deuce" could have fit seamlessly on 2010's more guitar-centric American Gong.
On the other hand, tracks like the Zombies-esque "R.I.P.," seem to point to where the band is heading.
Mole City gives fans more of what they have come to love, and for the uninitiated, the perfect introduction to their craft.