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Know by Heartis an apt title for the fourth album by the American Analog Set. Often practitioners of the art of "futuristic" music usually make one crucial mistake: in their quest to replicate the synthetic sheen of a dark, mechanical tomorrow, they often end up completely obliterating every trace of humanity. Fortunately, Texan new wave rockers the American Analog Set are wise to this: the sleeve toKnow by Heart--featuring two guitar leads, loosely coiled into a heart shape--smartly points out that there's a very human warmth in the depths of this circuitry. As it happens, for the most part,Know by Heartis a pretty relaxed take on rock experimentalism: AAF seem intrigued by the prospect of crafting pretty nuggets of tune out of the most atypical building blocks--drone, repetition, feedback, and a studied and a largely successful restraint. The studiedmotorikof "Like Foxes Through Fences" recalls--and betters--the design of Brit experimentalists Appliance, while on the beautiful but uncharacteristically named "Punk as Fuck," the band crafts a post-rock love song out of chiming guitars and velvety instrumental harmonies. The American Analog Set succeed because they put the songs--and a whole lotta love--right at the center of their design. It's far from the stuff of a dark future, but frankly, more bands should follow their lead.--Louis Pattison
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Label:  Tiger Style
ArtistAmerican Analog Set
Release Date:  September 4, 2001
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