Album #121: Car Seat Headrest – Making a Door Less Open

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Leesburg, Virginia, USA
  • Label: Matador
  • Best Track: Deadlines (Hostile)

It’s not hard to see why critics fawn over Car Seat Headrest. They do exactly what bands are supposed to by “developing” their sound and doing something new on every album. Plus they constantly have one out – this is their twelfth studio album in a decade.

Myself, I’m quite an easily placated music fan. It’s nice to hear an artist develop a new sound and nail it, but on the whole, if they did their last album well, I’m happy for them to do more of the same.

Making a Door Less Open sees Will Toledo and co. explore an electronic sound. At times, like on ‘Can’t Cool Me Down’, it seems low-tech and almost analogue. Other times, it’s modern and dancy.

Unusually for a studio album, we have two versions of the same track on this record – ‘Deadlines’ (Hostile) and ‘Deadlines’ (Thoughtful). I definitely prefer the more lo-fi, guitar-oriented former to the later, which kind of seems like an old-fashioned dance remix.

It’s good to hear a band this prolific and accomplished, but at the same time there’s nothing on this album that really wows me. There’s certainly no ‘Destroyed By Hippie Powers‘. I’m maybe going against the grain here, but could they slow down a bit?

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