Roman Photos: Rib Cage" b/w "Closer" 7-inch "

Army of Bad Luck

Roman Photos craft murky, minimal funk that takes shape somewhere between house music and post-punk's sensibilities. The marriage of live bass, drums and knob-twiddling in "Rib Cage" builds with a mechanical throb as vocalist David Mansfield chants repetitive mantras. In the shadow of such monster grooves he sounds a bit timid. Although his voice is primarily used as a rhythmic element in this DFA-style jam, a tad more viscera would give it worlds of ghostly power. The hazy fidelity and trippy electronics in "Closer" capture the band sharpening its skills as two primitive rhythms form a simple groove that rides into infinity. Compared to the group's recent live shows, these aren't Roman Photos' most innovative cuts, but they're still infectious experiments in rhythm and ambiance. (3 out of 5 stars)