The first track on Film School’s Fission, “Heart Full Of Pentagons,” is a blandly pleasant mix of lush indie-rock, cooed vocals, and what could pass for a pre-fab Apple-loop beat. It’s hard to imagine someone either unabashedly loving or hating the song: As on the band's post-rock debut, Brilliant Career (which featured Scott Kannberg of Pavement), or 2007’s Jesus & Mary Chain-leaning Hideout, Fission skillfully, un-showily incorporates a number of tasteful indie-rock tropes without ever putting enough English on any of them to sound distinctive. There are exceptions here, which point to a more arresting album that could have been: “Distant Life” is a case of the jitters that resolves itself in a three-note synth hook and the sound of Krayg Burton imitating a low-pass flyby. “Waited”—one of several tracks to feature bassist Lorelei Plotczyk on vocals—is a meet-cute set to all the least-pulverizing sounds in My Bloody Valentine’s catalog. Without a wall of squall to lean against, however, there’s no justification for the too-timid singing and mushy instrumentation. The result is an album that’s ultimately too polite to make much of an impression.

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