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  Scissors and Blue, Volume 1 
Artists: Francis/Lackthereof
Label: Cut and Paste Collective/Velvet Blue Music

The last split EP between Nashville’s Francis and Portland’s Lackthereof, 2000’s _Boil the Ocean_, found the two bands covering much of the same territory—lazy, moping, lo-fi, twisted pop songs. This record, the first in a series of six split EPs between the Cut and Paste Collective and Velvet Blue Music, is quite different. While Lackthereof is still mastering the lazy, moping, lo-fi, twisted pop song (please don’t make me write that out again), Francis has moved on to white-boy indie funk/rap; the closest comparisons I can think of are Beck and Soul-Junk’s 1956. Kevin Robinson isn’t nearly as good an emcee as either Beck or Glen Galaxy, but that doesn’t really appear to be Francis’ purpose—rather, he serves the almighty groove. 

"Intro/Apex" is built on a sweet Rhodes riff and a la-la-la vocal line from Viva Voce’s Anita Robinson. "Francis’ Lament III," on the other hand, is a dreamy 3/4 piece driven chiefly by samples and a soul melody. This really shows Robinson’s diversity, and when "The Whitebread Plan" merges the sounds of the two other songs, it feels seamless and right. 

All this development on Francis’ part isn’t to say that Lackthereof has merely rested on its laurels, though. "Drugz" might well be the most upbeat thing Danny Seim has ever released, with its bouncing 6/8 signature and prominent vocals, and "Catcher’s Boy," practically incomprehensible (in that great, Radiohead way) for much of its life, ends with an insanely catchy vocal line that’ll be stuck in your head for a week. 

So yes. This is every bit as good as you’d expect it to be. If the other five records in the Scissors and Blue series are this good, the Cut and Paste Collective will have really made a name for itself.

Michial Farmer 1/23/2002



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