If going major usually signals curtains on an artist‘s creative era, hats off to Black Dice, who‘ve gone pop, as it were, with aplomb. Broken Ear Record is, to these ears, their most realized and (gasp!) beautiful album. Album-opener “Snarly You” and its lazy drum machine concoction notwithstanding, there is hypnotic ecstasy to be found here in the fuzz-and-lock groove of “Smiling Off” and especially the gorgeous loping guitar rays of “Heavy Manners.” It‘s in the contrast of light and dark, of hypnosis and chaos, where one finds Black Dice‘s meta-gold. It‘s the oblivion and lift off that makes this a near-perfect record, broken ear or not.