Rosemary Krust – Slow Light LP

(Originally published at in 2008.)

As far as the overhyped (thanks, Rolling Stone!) Baltimore scene goes, the twenty-year-old “free twee” kids in Rosemary Krust are literal outliers – they’re based in Towson, a collegetown suburb – and, perhaps more damning, enamored of a brand of no-fi production that’d give Dan Deacon an embolism. Aiming not for the city’s absurdist dance fiends, newgaze pedalboarders, or classically rocking Thrill Jockey pocket, the Krusts seem content to sound like a smoked out evening in a small, rented bedroom, window cracked and a lukewarm breeze passing through. Not exactly escapism for the sweltering summer, but at least the band has a sense of feng shui: rejecting the DayGlo roar of Charm City’s scene elders, Rosemary Krust manages instead a daft, pastel haze of half-blast reverb pedals, pristine Mazzy Star vocals, and riddle-laden lyricism that recalls, at its best, Julie Doiron’s loveliest Eric’s Trip abstractions mashed with a Flying Saucer Attack outtake. Slow Light, the band’s first real LP (previous releases have included an artsy document, Their First Two Weeks, and a 7″), finds principles Katherine Plummer and William Hardy stripping some of the “free” from their twee, resulting in prettily artless (and ageless) hypnosis like the “Murder Mystery” back-and-forth of “Devil’s Questions,” Swirlies-style turntable pastiche of “All the Monsters Out,” and deer-in-headlights romanticism of “Private Amber” – four-track headphone music that works the dimmer switch in a town full of strobe lights. JOSEPH MARTIN