Like all Film School records, Fission’s 12 blasts of energy wash over listeners with dense, multi-layers of warm and intense shoegazer rock. The five-piece led by singer-guitarist Greg Bertens has been splitting arty and atmospheric modern-rock since its San Francisco days, recording excellent albums like 2001’s Brilliant Career. Mixing Swervedriver’s penchant for noise with Lush’s style of dreamy pop, Film School have always produced enjoyable sonic grooves reminiscent of great ‘90s bands, even if the results were fairly indistinguishable from record to record. Their fourth album is filled with similar salvos, backed by the same bursts of static-charged guitars, fuzzed-out keyboards, and Bertens’ unintelligible vocals. Fortunately, things evolve on the new album too, specifically the emergence of bassist Lorelei Plotczyk, whose vocals are now adding prowess to the band’s decades-old drone. Her earthy moans give flesh to the band’s dream world, taking “Time to Listen,” “Direct” and “Sunny Day” and turning them into tangible tunes that stand out from the band’s repetitious buzz. With the band’s expanding repertoire (dance-floor beats like “When I’m Yours”) and growing songwriting skills (“Meet Around 10”), Film School find new ways to further blur the lines of arty indie rock. —Keith Gribbins
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