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(Item no.: 233)
Label: Words on Music
Released: 2002

Nebraska's For Against returns with their first album since 1997, and one of their most compelling and melodic releases to date. A triumphant return to the independent music scene, Coalesced, the band's sixth album, was produced by Mike Mogis (Azure Ray, Bright Eyes, Cursive). Heralded as their best work to date by independent music luminary publications such as The Big Takeover, Pop Culture Press, and Skyscraper, Coalesced delivers Runnings' trademark soaring vocals enmeshed in a delicate latticework of guitars and punctuated rhythms, to craft an arresting blend of lucid, gorgeous atmospheres.

"Medication" and "So Long" begin the seven-song album with Engelhard's spry, energetic drumming anchoring Runnings' airy vocal melodies to Hinrichs' sparkling guitars. "Fuel" follows, which, along with "Shelflife," are matchless ballads — perhaps the finest and most heartrending Runnings has ever composed.

The anthemic "Coalesced" is the album's centerpiece — opening with an etching of the contemplative disposition of Echelons' title track, with Hinrichs' churning, reverbed guitar and Runnings' eighth note basslines recalling the early Factory Records sound. "Coalesced" ultimately bursts into a rousing chorus and then races through a jaw-dropping three-minute coda of vigorous guitar work and spectacular Engelhard fills.

The finale, "Love You," resurrects Maurice Deebank-era Felt into an excursion of the scenic side of post-rock, weaving multiple layers of beautiful guitar melodies with a precise, balanced cadence and rhythm. In sum, Coalesced is a seamless, coherent masterpiece of riveting pop craftsmanship, unspoiled by studio contrivances or artistic pretensions.

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1. Medication 5:30
2. So Long 4:38
3. Fuel 4:48
4. Coalesced 6:59
5. Outside a Heart 3:34
6. Shelflife 6:25
7. Love You 5:17
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