Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #134 - AU, "Both Lights"

Not much to go on before I listened apart from the cover, which more than a little cosmodelic: grey with rainbow lines, you can't get much more out on a psychedelic limb than that.

There's a bit of a brass band session with banjos ("Get Alive") and a strangely mournful voice swooping and crooning something about circumcision before it gets more ecstatic and a womanly voice works its way in and out as well. There's more soaring, semi-religious sounds on "Crazy Idol" - echoing church organ and ringing women's voices. I just can't make out any of the human-scale lyrics.

"OJ" is a bit more fitful. Is it about orange juice though? I can't tell. There are some excitable violins on it and plenty of piano. Without the lyrical link, I'm stuck in a musical swoopscape without any obvious door handles. "The Veil" has the same holy feel running through it - and a holy name too, I'd say. But it isn't rent, it stays intact and the mystery with it.

"Solid Gold" sounds as though an African guest vocalist has been invited to join in. The brass dance band is back too. But I still don't feel carried away by the music, perhaps it's too much of an exercise in composition, too cerebral. "Why I Must" pounds away and wants to sound manic and I can appreciate there's a lot of energy gone into the performance, but it doesn't pick me up either.

I read that the band is based around the work of Luke Wyland, a classical pianist, and in the last few tracks this influence becomes more and more obvious. By the closing track, "Don't Lie Down", things have been reduced to a lone electric guitar until they build up again in a doom-heavy fashion to the end.

It all feels a bit empty, too much of a performance.

Rating: Piano out of Piano

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