Timothy Gunatilaka
July 18, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Unquestionably unconventional, these indie darlings from San Jose, Calif., Xiu Xiu, once again bring an uncanny poignancy to their chorus of chaos on their fourth full-length, La Forêt. ”Pox” and ”Muppet Face” set Jamie Stewart’s plaintive whisper and delicate acoustic strums to a cacophony of lo-fi synths, kitchenware clangs, and otherworldly blips and whirls for an experience that’s at times quaintly dreamy, at others spastically nightmarish. Imagine Bright Eyes fed through a meat grinder — but in a good way.

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