WARM IN THE WAKE: American Prehistoric [Live Wire]

Despite the presence of searing hot stars, violent meteoric collisions and assorted NASA jetsam, outer space is primarily composed of a whole bunch of nothing. Not much happens. When it does, though, the action is breathtaking. By describing itself as “cosmic,” Warm In The Wake is being far more literal than it probably realizes. Much of the Atlanta quartet’s debut drifts along in a pleasant AM-radio daze until a startling piece of instrumentation punctuates the emptiness like a falling star. On “Joseph Campbell,” whirring, squealing synths flare up against a lush bed of jangling guitar. On the Sea And Cake-styled “Airport Girl” and “Dark Gypsy Moth,” a jazzy piano streaks beneath Christopher Rowell’s soft-as-a-pillow vo-cals. Prominent drums and a whisper of guitar lead off “Reelin’” with a beat lifted from U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It’s as if Brian Eno suddenly started knob-twiddling for an unknown Southern band’s porch jam. Perhaps because much of American Prehistoric was recorded live, these instrumental accents never disrupt the flow of the song. That promise of excitement is what makes the spaced-out stretches of this LP worth contemplating for hours on end. [www.livewirerecordings.net]

—Tizzy Asher