With five songs over 40 minutes this was a long and daunting ride from Overview Effect. I was confused. I loved it. I was dismayed. I was ambivalent. I loved it again. And then…
Duration was a concern during the first track (Untitled) as it consisted of a sound-scape rather than a song. The hissing effects and an almost inaudible drum pulse conjured images of a stark frozen wasteland but I wondered if this was going to be indicative of the whole recording. Thankfully a beautiful guitar chimed at one and a half minutes marking the beginning of the second track, Inertia.
Glistening guitars, rolling bass and a combination of eerie noises and effects (they don’t use keyboards) provide an expansive backdrop for the angelic singing of Felicia Tassone. It reminds me most of the Cocteau Twins and Sigur Ros but there are elements of Pink Floyd, especially as the song builds around the snaking bass-line and the drums lift the pace, gently. It is gorgeous.
Just after the ten minute mark something strange and unwelcome happens – it is as if a Tool cover band bursts into the middle of proceedings. All drop-tuning power chords, crashing cymbals and finally spiraling nu-metal riffery it is a clumsy transition – somehow the vocals continue as if it is not happening. Thankfully the chugging ends after about three minutes and the song takes a long tuneful fade to some distant quite jazzy chords.
Tracks 3 and 4 (both untitled) are more ominous soundscapes, reminding me of the boring bits of Radiohead (am I the only person who skips Treefingers on Kid A?).
Finally the title track begins with a melodic bass riff and a return to the gorgeous singing – reminding me of The Sundays (one of my favourite bands). Just as I am thinking that I really like this band, somewhere around 27 minutes the unthinkable happens: back to the nu-metal riffing. It is telling that here the vocals struggle to remain melodic. The whole thing eventually comes to an end after 36 minutes. If you listen carefully to the last 4 minutes of “silence” you can hear haunting vocals very faintly.
This recording has three distinct genres, breathtaking glacial songs (4/5), ominous disarming soundscapes (2.5/5) and nu-metal progrock riffing (1/5). Perhaps they should form two bands rather than try to mix them all. At the very least some editing would produce a very charming record indeed.
Also printed in Bside Magazine 7 May 2015