I wouldn’t normally do this, but although each of the tracks on this album can be appreciated whilst taken on their own individual merits, the penny fully drops when you realise the following, as explained in the promo’s Press Release:
‘Whilst the album can be listened to as series of catchy atmospheric folk songs there is also a narrative thread of a character who acts on his destructive fantasies and descends into madness and murder.’
‘The album starts with the deceptively patient ruminations of “Pink Cloud in the Woods”…. sparse cricket sounds, bells and piano evolve into stop-and-go drums and the breathy chant of “I walked through the woods. It was a rainy day.” From there, SIAMBbB sprawls out like a cinematic experience. “Magnesium Light” is a cleansing moment of melodic pop before the album descends toward the dark. The banjo-laden song “Pieces” delves deep into the details of the murderous crime but remains unsettlingly upbeat and catchy. Album closer, the 10-minute “An Admission” shifts down the synth highway as it details the character’s seemingly inexplicable need to kill again and again. It starts with pitch bending swirls buttressed by banjo and drums. Soon, these elements are overtaken by stormy effects and soprano “whoo-ooo”s, culminating in an about-face of percussive THRASH.’
And you know, that’s about it – that’s how reviews probably SHOULD be written….. nice and brief and succinct. But this is LOUD HORIZON ……
Opening track ‘Pink Cloud In The Woods’ is indeed quite atmospheric, especially now knowing the background. Throughout the album, there is much use of the glockenspiel, which must be one of the most adaptable instruments, it being able to convey so many different images dependant on the mood of the song. In this case, it’s the gentle splash of raindrops. At almost six and a half minutes though, perhaps a shorter walk through the woods would have prevented the interest from waning a little.
‘Where You Belong’ has a bouncy vibe supported by the whine of an organ and light acoustic guitar, topped off with some lovely harmonised vocals. This is definitely one of the highlight tracks on the album. ‘Magnesium Light’ features the band’s favoured banjo sound and military-styled snare drums, before there is an ‘Interlude’ – with more of the same really, just faster.
‘Repent’ sees the incorporation of a string section to back the light, but this time slightly more austere vocals. ‘A Thought’ has the plink of the banjo fighting against a raging storm – or so it sounds like – before ‘Pieces’ is exactly as it says above.
‘My Old Brittle Bones’ was the earlier single taken from the album and starts out very quietly, building in volume and intensity before fully bursting into life for the final minute and a half with an exciting acoustic riff and high pitched vocals all topped off with joyous sounding handclaps and the tinkle of glockenspiel. Nice.
‘Aching Silence’ is a banjo and acoustic guitar combo, shuffling along to the backing of what sounds like a Church organ. And then there are the epic ten minutes of the closing track ‘An Admission,’ and again, the description in the Press Sheet probably best sums up this track.
(DREAMEND is to all intents and purpose, Ryan Graveface, owner of independent Chicago label Graveface Records and member of psychedelic oddballs BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW, so perhaps this finale is not so unexpected.)
‘So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite’ is different, I’ll give it that. It’s actually also an interesting listen with several outstanding tracks. Yeah – worth checking out.
(Released through Memphis Industries on 8th October 2010)
(7.5 / 10)