Further distinguishing themselves from their laptop-addled colleagues, the Chapel of Keith Tenniswood and Andrew Weatherhall sees the duo veer from gently batting the electronic template to an all-out smackdown. Whereas they were once immersed in the synthesis of their gadgets on 2000's Tiny Reminders, Two Lone Swordsmen dust off the mic and other traditional instruments to further befuddle and enchant the devotees with their latest effort.
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As the flatulent bounce of "Stack Up" opens the curtains with its ominous crunk, it effortlessly segues into the dark electro of "Faux," complete with vocoded passages courtesy of Weatherhall. Virtually every track on Chapel harbors a life of its own. "Formica Fuego" is just a bass-driven organic monster filled with live drums, minor chord swells, and slashing guitars, while the guys get their rocks off covering Gun Club's "Sex Beat." They invoke their murky, beat-driven past for inspiration (as on "Sick When We Kiss") and explore their current penchant for brooding rock (on the closing "Driving With My Gears in Reverse"). It's hard to tell if the blokes are just doing their best Primal Scream impression on Chapel. But the Swordsmen's deft hands still make it engaging. -- Kiran Aditham