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Best Jogging Trail

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Aural Pleasure Review

The Texas Weather: 'The Fall, The Winter'

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Nick Mery may have a rep for being his own biggest fan, but The Fall, The Winter (the album title was changed from the original Pluck) demonstrates his willingness to let someone else take the reins. On this album, Michael Randolph (aka Polysynth Fusion) is the theremin-waving, psychedelic counterpoint to Mery’s acoustic folk pop. The result is a sonic tug of war, as fickle and mercurial as the band’s namesake. At first, Mery seems dwarfed, as the only strict “songs” are the melancholy “Melted Gold” and “Someday.” Meanwhile, Randolph runs mad with theremin ambience, synths and, on the EP’s bookends, god-voiced free verse. But Mery actually contributes many random but carefully incorporated acoustic instruments like didgeridoo, trombone, and the xaphoon (a bamboo-made cousin of the recorder), among others. Everything coalesces into the delightfully deranged “All Out Freak Out,” which makes “Death Zydeco” a plausible sub-genre. Conspicuously absent is the song that galvanized the project, Mery’s world-metal interpretation of Metallica’s Master of Puppets. A Texas Weather re-working of the tune would have extended the aural thunderstorm a bit more and fittingly closed the EP. No matter. TFTW still fulfills The Texas Weather’s promise: to be something not on offer elsewhere in San Antonio.

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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