(3 out of 5)
It’s somewhat unsettling to hear the voice of Matt Beringer dozingly drip from your speakers when DEREALIZATION first gets going. The National vocalist is one of three indie-rock singers who lends their voice to this six-song EP – Andrew Thiboldeaux (Pattern Is Movement) and Shudder to Think’s Craig Wedren each show up as well – but it’s Beringer’s presence on the opening cut (“Fire to the Ground”) that’s perhaps the most jolting. On DEREALIZATION’s other five tracks, the Forms sound like the Forms, with quietly complex post-rock structures providing a foundation for gentle and warm electronic experimentation and odd-but-inviting melodies. But on “Fire to the Ground,” the Forms sound quite a bit like the National — like, to the point that one wonders if the track wasn’t originally called “The National Song.” The sequences and synths are still there, but the rhythmic shuffle and sparse arrangement is light years removed from the insistent swoon of a track like “Alpha Wave,” which is much more representative of the Forms’ unique take on modern indie rock.