The moving parts David Bazan currently needs fewer of are bandmates, specifically the ones he fired earlier this year when he dissolved Pedro the Lion, his long-running emo-rock combo. The pink-slipping hasn't done much to alter his sound: These five solo songs (each presented in separate studio and acoustic versions) still throb with the tense folk-punk energy Pedro gifted to the Christian-music community Bazan has never felt comfortable claiming as his own. But it has sharpened his writing to an appealingly bitchy pointsurprising, given that he can no longer hide from message-board scolds behind a band name. As he croons bitterly on "Backwoods Nation," "Calling all rednecks to put down their Sluggers/To pick up machine guns and kill camelfuckers." Opener "Selling Advertising" peels smaller potatoes, as Bazan breaks the news that Pitchfork staffers eat thanks to banner ads, not grants from the Green Party. But his vitriol is bracing. Dude could be indie's P.J. O'Rourke.
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