Comets On Fire | Avatar
San Francisco's normally blistering space rock jam unit pulls in the reins a bit on this, their second full-length record for Sub Pop. The overdriven freakouts are still there, the only difference is that now you can hear it all, even the echoplex (!) and vocals. Good news. Even better, the "slow" songs ("Lucifer's Memory," "Hatched Upon the Age and especially "Sour Smoke") are among their finest songs yet. Comets have been the best the Bay Area has to offer for a long time now, Avatar is just more proof. - Mike McG

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