Preston School Of Industry – Monsoon

Second likeable album by singer/guitarist once known as Spiral Stairs

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While his old bandmate Stephen Malkmus steers towards classic rock, folk and even a little bit of prog these days, Scott Kannberg continues to keep the indie flame burning. For his second album as Preston School Of Industry, Kannberg sounds exactly as you’d expect: the guitarist out of Pavement grown a little older and more rueful. These are amiable, humane songs given a touch of country decorum by Wilco, who make up his backing band. It’s a calmer, less ambitious album than 2001’s All This Sounds Gas, but no less beguiling, especially when Kannberg betrays his love of The Go-Betweens. Nice, too, to see him embrace one or two long-suppressed quirks: “Get Your Crayons Out!” illustrates why Pavement were seen as Fall acolytes in 1992, and how far Kannberg has travelled in the interim.

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