Audiophiles and lovers of warm, enveloping tones can now rejoice in the first vinyl releases of these two great Kingsbury Manx albums, collected by Sit-N-Spin Records on a double LP. The fourth album by the Chapel Hill quartet, 2003's Aztec Discipline, is their best album to date, full of their laconic, psych-rock allure, reminiscent of the Flaming Lips at their most rustic or The Beachwood Sparks at their most lyrical. While the album is Kingsbury Manx through and through, they employ a rainbow of colors, from the gentle, calliope stroll of "Growler in the Rumbleseat" to the pretty, finger-picked acoustic folk of "Dinner Bell" and the hazy, Pink Floyd-ish "Hunting Trips." The album's highlighted by "Pelz Komet," a sugary confection that's nigh irresistible in its bubbly charms. Afternoon Owls, which came out earlier the same year, only hints at the wonder of the full-length, but is nonetheless a fine addition. More country in tone, the songs aren't as strong as those on Aztec Discipline. The exception is the piano-accompanied "Over the Waves," which has something of a dream pop shimmer and unusually crunchy guitar. For a band that seems to rarely play, they sure make terrific recordings.
IWTDI's craftsmanship has steadily increased, tightening the screws on a brimming, bracing power-pop sound. The new volume and frisson on this stunning seven-song EP builds on their sound without razing the room.