You've seen their photograph: Two handsome identical twin brothers, Amedeo and Simone Pace from Italy, framing a beautiful young woman from Kyoto, Kazu Makino. That's Amedeo on guitar or bass and vocals; Simone is the drummer, a very hard-rocking and idiosyncratic one (he plays keyboards, too); Makino plays slanted, wrenchingly dramatized guitar shards and sings in a breathy, not-so-guileless sigh — or screeeeeeeeeams. But their sound keeps evolving, growing sleek, even, a cinematic-romantic impulse that wrenches a formerly lonely and alienating sound into genuinely touching realms, opening up like some kind of dark flower overflowing with a strangely sweet nectar. A dam has burst, exploding with new tone colors, new unidentifiable emotions. Blonde Redhead's new album, Penny Sparkle (4AD), is, if possible, even more heartbreaking than 2004 masterpiece Misery Is a Butterfly.
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