Sunday, March 12th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 27
|Raising The Fawn / The Maginot Line (Sonic Unyon)
John Crossingham’s Raising The Fawn seems to be the dark horse of the Broken Social Scene extended family, rarely getting the love or lip service of most/any of the other bands. It could be because they’re not on Arts & Crafts or it could be because their sweeping, dramatic, hyper-emotional prog rock was a little too removed from the BSS house sound, maybe their irregular performance/recording schedule made it harder to stay on peoples’ radar or maybe being 12th live guitar in the BSS cosmos just doesn’t carry that much weight, but the popularity proximity effect of the mothership collective hasn’t seemed to have trickled down to RTF. Which is good in its own way, in that the project is able to stand (or fall) on its own merits. The Maginot Line starts very strongly, the double-shot of “Pyotr” and “Carbon Paper” being as strong an opener as you may be likely to hear all year. The album nearly reaches these peaks again at a few points, but also suffers from a bit of meander that makes the album, at the least, a bit of a challenging listen but one that could prove rewarding in the long term. The Maginot Line was released last week and they play the Horseshoe April 29.
|Dead Heart Bloom / Dead Heart Bloom (KEI Records)
Dead Heart Bloom is the new nom de plume for Boris Skalsky, who may be known to you as the former bassist in DC space-rock outfit Phaser. With this new project, he’s made a rather hard left from his old outfit’s sound, choosing instead to wander out in a field for a while. The bulk of Dead Heart Bloom is in a folky, countryish vein – comparisons to Iron & Wine are valid – but there are also some heavier, Calla-esuqe moments and some more gothic numbers with a Nick Cave feel. If this sounds like it’d make for an eclectic mix, it certainly does but not all the ingredients sit comfortably together. Individually, some of the tracks are standouts but as a whole, it’s not that cohesive. If Skalsky can blend everything together better the next time around, he could well be creating something really worth hearing.
But don’t take my word for it – the whole of the Dead Heart Bloom is available to download, complete, legal and free of charge, here. Listen for yourself.
|(The Sounds Of) Kaleidoscope / From Where You Were to How You Got There (Hackshop)
How often does a band’s name perfectly reflect the noises they make? Washington DC’s The Sounds Of) Kaleidoscope’s name is a truly appropriate description of their sound, as their debut full-length is a fascinating aural melange, the end product sounding like Barrett-era Pink Floyd produced by Kevin Shields – an acid trip with an ecstasy and wine chaser. A classic and contemporary slice of psychedelia… or maybe it’s just a flashback? Either way, good listening.
np – The Wedding Present / Take Fountain