By Lauren Wise
By Anthony Sandoval
By New Times Staff
By Chris Parker
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Lauren Wise
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Chase Kamp
Be it a lousy sitcom, an episode of Crossfire or the audible blow-by-blow of the drunken brawl in the apartment next door, we all love eavesdropping on a good argument. Which probably accounts for our attraction to the indie rock dueling-vocalist assault -- the howling poetry of Rainer Maria, the high-concept snarlings of Sleater-Kinney, the preteen angst of Linkin Park.
That's a joke, people. Jesus.
Bay Area band Citizens Here and Abroad aspires to similar catharsis: Chris Groves and Adrienne Robillard's breathy murmurs dart in, out, around and through one another like a LiveJournal.com double helix as the jagged guitars do likewise. Ghosts of Tables and Chairs expertly positions itself as a quieter, more meditative version of much-loved popsters Dealership, from which two of the four Citizens -- Groves included -- have sprung.
You'll miss the pop. Pick any point on Ghosts and you'll encounter abrupt mood swings, fuzzy melodies and insistent double-edged whispers, but pick another point and you'll encounter precisely the same thing. The few attempts to spice things up -- a xylophone here, a goofy Nintendo melody there -- don't quite graft perfectly, and Groves and Robillard's banter sounds a bit detached, like the snooty neighbors too uppity to attend your barbecue.
Offer 'em a cheese brat or two anyway. Ghosts' latter half yields the swirling eye of "A Change of Scene," which looks solid but bends and refracts when you touch it, like a Matrix computer effect. And when Robillard confusedly guzzles stewardess-distributed wine during "In Flight Movie," you relate. But you hope she's flying somewhere that'll teach her to better express her feelings.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city