Album review: Heavy Hometown, "Action Figures" 

Action Figures, the debut album by Indianapolis/Louisville band Heavy Hometown, conjures a hazy low-fi dreamworld inhabited by jangling, echoing guitar, rumbling bass and thudding drums. The album rolls and churns like early Yo La Tengo: incomplete, fragmented and edging towards psych-rock without ever losing a sense of melody or form.

Especially excellent is "Retreat City," which shows off the talents of all three members. Jon Wood's smoky baritone is at its most mature and moving, supplemented by a short but beautiful guitar solo. Eric Parks, who plays electric piano, bass and synthesizers, delivers a stunning vintage synth that has a weightless feel. And, as on the whole album, Corey Barnes' drumming is focused and precise.

But a few songs are forgettable, and while even these have their moments -- like the interplay between Barnes' vocals and Wood's guitar leads in the chorus of "Microchiplove" -- they feel less potent than the band's other tracks.

Action Figures is an example of a decent LP that could've been a fantastic EP: The album's short run time (just shy of 35 minutes) and the band's less impressive tracks suggest that the band could have truncated their debut.

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