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Album: Joy Zipper

American Whip, 13 AMP/Vertigo

Finally released after a year in limbo, Joy Zipper's American Whip brings a haze of summer sunlight to the last days of winter. Since getting lost in 13 Amp's business shuffles, Zipper duo Vincent Cafiso and Tabitha Tindale have already recorded and released last November's delightful EP The Stereo and God, but this is by no means overshadowed by developments, featuring as it does the same kind of narcotised drone-pop, in a Galaxie 500/Mazzy Star vein. Drugs, love and ageing are the main themes: there's the hymn-like "Drugs" itself, followed by the dream-state of "Dozed and Became Invisible", featuring the duo's admission that "Psilocybin every day/ Blew my mind in every way". It's probably not coincidental that it should be followed in turn by the sluggish but beautiful "Alzheimer's", whose protagonist wonders, "What is this terrible thing coming over me?". They deserve credit for tackling such a difficult subject, although their use of old-folk vocal samples seem more intrusive than necessary. The same groggy disorientation laps around much of the album, with Tindale claiming "I'm getting tired of life - that's 33 times I climbed up the same tree" in "33x", and the duo wondering "What's the use in time, if time is lost?"

in "In the Never Ending Search for a Suitable Enemy". The musical equivalent of a waking dream.