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Black Love

Geographic Tongue

NEAT-Music

Black Love's second offering is a warped journey that finds the Athens/Atlanta duo traversing a slow and strange pop terrain, marking a significant departure from the amorphous post-industrial rhythms of its 2003 debut, EP#001. But Geographic Tongue is by no means a slick change of heart for the group. Rather, the 13 songs that make up the recording constitute a sonic molasses that's rife with abstract imagery and an impenetrable sense of avant-garde awareness.

From the dreary vocal harmonies and sparsely strummed acoustic guitar that opens the recording in "Eisenhower's 1953 Inaugural Quote," it's made plain early that this is not music for easy listening. The deliberately dawdling pace with which the music unfolds demands more than a passive ear. And the stripped-down arrangements filtered through noticeably murky production makes for a thick aural soup that evokes everyone from Pink Floyd to the Velvet Underground. The high-end and uneven drone behind "Anthrax (Black) Love Song" could have been lifted straight from the clatter of VU's White Light/White Heat. "Space Ship" and "Impasse" are strikingly Floydian in their inward weirdness.

The best part of Geographic Tongue lies in the all-consuming spaciousness that binds each number together. From beginning to end, every note, every riff, every horn honk and every word exists in a sprawling vacuum where bare-bones arrangements and natural acoustic inflections echo in what sounds like a vast and undefined void.

Black Love plays Eyedrum Sat., Sept. 11. 9 p.m $8.