Greg and Thom Moore's drowsy, breathy vocals aren't always on key.
Greg and Thom Moore's drowsy, breathy vocals aren't always on key. The Californians' acoustic guitars could stand to have their strings tightened as well. And their lyrics often sound like surreal children's poetry, sometimes evocative of thoughtful imagery and other times simply quirky. Yet, somehow, on Colossal Small, these minor problems charm more than annoy. Of a dozen brief songs, standouts include the sweetly strummed title track, the keyboard-driven "Moleslica," and the ethereal "Bit by the Loon," which features Andrew Borger on vibraphone. Producer Jon Erickson—who also plays bass, piano, and organ—gives this set a minimalist, low-tech sound, rife with retro flourishes, that lets the brothers' thin, folky harmonies set dreamy melodies against gently trippy backdrops. Call it chill-out music for the alt-rock crowd. Contact: 415-337-8769.—WH