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PRESS AND REVIEWS

For those who think Dave Spalding’s been quiet since Northwestern instrumentalists Pell Mell faded into the ether after the muted majesty of gems like Interstate or Star City, think again...

The 13 tracks on Invisibles are fully formed and frequently enveloping songs, works that easily — and sometimes frighteningly — both stand up to Pell Mell’s sonic grandeur and offer a kind of post-script to the group’s late work.

Pell Mell's 1980s sound received a bit of a makeover when guitarist Dave Spalding joined the band in time for 1992's Flow album. Spalding not only recharged the group's songwriting batteries (he's credited with seven of the album's eleven tunes), he also redirected their instrumental focus from keyboards to guitars. The result is an album full of songs that are crisp and sharp...

...With it's metronomic beat, tranced-out keyboards, and luscious thematic guitar melodies, Interstate is so right on for driving, it's a record to get first, then save up and buy a Blaupunkt. Finally, hopefully you can get a car to go along with it. It's okay if it's a bombed-out, abandoned Toyota in a Brooklyn lot: what Pell Mell got will take you where you want to go.

In the tradition of Duane Eddy, Television, and Angelo Badalamenti, Pell Mell are the latest entrants in the King of Twang sweepstakes. Unadorned Fender tones supported by cocktail-lounge organ are the driving force of the band's moody, minor-key instrumentals. Guitarist David Spalding relies primarily on low-register single-note lines, which are refreshingly sparse and as simple as a roadside diner menu...

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