With the implosion of the artful indie-rock band Pedro the Lion and the indeterminacy of electronic project Headphones, David Bazan
chose to reassert himself as a control freak in the privacy of his own surrealism, rather than as a freak trying to control band dynamics. On last year's Fewer Moving Parts
, he savors revenge "You're so creative with your reviews of what other people do" and confesses that his own creative process re-channels neuroses, if not sadism. "So every time I find a girl beaten, gagged and bound," he sings with shifty self-discovery, "I let her go and write it down." Bazan sings and plays his mind, whether he's savaging the inhuman politics of a "Backwoods Nation" or unearthing melodies from the hurdy-gurdy of bulky synths, chunky guitar chords and splattering drums.