In 2001, California's Refrigerator returned from a two-year hiatus with another album of minimalist lo-fi rock, Comedy Minus One. Allen Callaci's offbeat voice remains the band's strongest asset. The band has certainly quieted down since its debut, How You Continue Dreaming. The acoustic-based "Never Nowhere" is a calm, around-the-campfire type of song, as is much of the album. The pace picks up slightly on "Freeway Close, " led by Chris Jones on piano. The organ on "Twilight Show" creates a subdued feeling, combined with Allen Callaci's restrained vocals. The aura returns to an upbeat sense with "Open Fan Mail, " with Dennis Callaci returning to the vocal chair. The slide guitar on "Little Red Riding Hood" is a different sound for the band, yet it somehow sounds natural. "Retire the Ghost" closes the album, and is appropriately haunting and reserved. Bassist Daniel Brodo keeps a steady hand throughout the album, rhythmically holding all of the pieces together. The album was produced by Steve Foita, and includes guest appearances by Foita and Emily Marsh. ~ Stephen Cramer
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