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Real Estate, keeping it In Mind 

The band performs at Republic April 6

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Photo by Shawn Brackbill

On Real Estate's acclaimed first three LPs (2009's eponymous debut, 2011 follow-up Days and 2014's establishing Atlas), the New Jersey band's only criticism was that its chiming guitar melodies and easygoing tone were so natural and consistent, they could have come from any number of collegial indie-rock bands. (Woods, whose Woodsist imprint served as Real Estate's first champion, is an immediate reference point.) In Mind (Domino), released in March, hasn't been met with the same intense admiration, yet it's also the first album to do something new — however small — with the group's tried-and-true aesthetic. Absent co-founding guitarist Matt Mondanile, the new record opens with a subtle synth wash before layering its signature guitar harmonics (now courtesy of Julian Lynch) over several octaves. It's at once comfortingly familiar and a fresh introduction to what is now a polished routine. "Two Arrows" veers into a buzzy, softly crescendoing asteroid belt, and "Diamond Eyes" sounds like a stab at a retro-modern update on the classic "Fabric of Our Lives" cotton commercials. These attempts at outreach may turn off fans who came to depend on Real Estate for one thing and one thing only, but even the most appealing acts must grow tiresome to those tasked with performing them over and over. Closer "Saturday" drifts peacefully for a minute on gentle piano before kicking into six-string gear — a little wink from a band that hasn't forgotten what the crowds want. Mary Lattimore opens. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 day of show.


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