The only way I can adequately express my excitement over this record is to say that I haven't been so unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised by an album since I first heard Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted. Former Kelley Deal 6000 member Steve Salad leads Deformo through 15 well-recorded (if not quite hi-fi) songs that bring to mind the energetic abandon of early Pavement, the adolescent preoccupations of the Violent Femmes and the suave reserve of new wave while managing to sound like nothing you've ever heard before. The guitar sounds are varied throughout, crunching on one track, strummed just slightly on another, and reverberating and chorusing to spacey, beautiful effect on the next. A couple low-key songs benefit from cello and viola and reverb-laden backing vocals. Despite this diversity and all the stylistic shifts, Deformo is a cohesive, well-thought out album that is a blast to listen to. (Gormandizer, 3232 Blaisdell #2, Minneapolis, MN 55408)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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