Domino Records – 2001 - 53 minutes

Portland outfit Quasi are one of those bands who demand a second listen even if the first didn't grab. Then, a third, a fourth, until finally you begin to notice that the sound they produce is oddly better than the sum of its parts. There is a dichotomy in Quasi's sound that is strangely alluring: while the lyrics are invariably bleak, the pop sensibility of the melodies gives the band an extra ingredient.

'The Sword of God' is the fifth offering from duo Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss. Once part of the Elliot Smith band, the pair specialise in the type of lo-fi indie rock that can either exasperate or inspire. This album, in itself, is not inspiring, but it certainly has enough merit to avoid the basket marked 'dust-collectors'.

'F*ck Hollywood' echoes dark Lennon/Beach Boys territory, the title track is a feisty guitar-led pop rant, while drummer Janet Weiss's dual role as vocalist on 'The Curse Of Having It All' lends the track a fragile innocence.

'The Sword of God' is certainly not going to send Quasi into orbit. For those who are willing to take a chance, however, this album represents a quietly rewarding experience.

Tom Grealis

Tracklisting: Introduction – F*ck Hollywood – It's Raining – Genetic Science – The Sword of God – A Case Of No Way Out – The Curse Of Having It All – Seal The Deal – From A Hole In The Ground – Little Lord Fontleroy – Goblins & Trolls – Better Luck Next Time – Nothing, Nowhere – Rock And Roll Can Never Die