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Wow and Flutter

"Wow and flutter": a problem with cassette tapes, a Stereolab song, and also, a fine indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. It is the band of which we speak, today, a band which is quite good. Good how, you ask? Well, good in the way their sonic wanderings take them from Sonic Youth needle-nosed guitar-driven art rock to Chicago left field-derived post-rock, without ever failing to remain catchy. At least when such a thing is possible, and even when it isn't, even when Wow and Flutter is at their repetitive experimental zenith, they manage to engage the listener with the intelligence and originality of their arrangements. A varied lineup helps with all that. The band is essentially Cord Amato's, and he handles the guitars and electronics, also providing vocals when needed, while a constantly evolving group of local musicians supports him on bass, drums, additional guitars, cello, Rhodes piano, Farfisa organ, cello, and more.

'98's Guilty Pleasures on Amplified Recordings was the band's first recording; that was essentially Amato solo, playing all the instruments. Before the next Wow and Flutter effort Amato assembled an actual band, which played behind him on the second record, Pounding the Pavement, which is where you'll find the three featured numbers -- the catchy indie rocker "Freezer Burn," and the more ambient, instrumental pieces "Pie" and "Shoeshine."

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