With Quicksand/Cradlesnakes, Califone finally sounds like a confident, poised outfit rather than a Tim Rutili work-in-progress. It may lack some of the highlights of Roomsound, but Quicksand/Cradlesnakes makes up for it through consistency and pacing. Califone still explores the shadowlands between acoustic and electronic sounds, but the experimentation is more focused here, more in support of the song. The duo of Tim Rutili and Ben Mansarella remains at the group's core, but longtime Califone collaborator Brian Deck sits this one out, and as a result Quicksand/Cradlesnakes has a sparser, less-textured feel than its predecessor. The clinking, clanging, buzzing, and scraping are still present, as well as the occasional burst of controlled feedback -- something that has followed this crew since the days of Red Red Meat.