Thursday, October 30th, 2008
School Of Seven Bells / Alpinisms review
Amanda MertenIt’s not often that the the first taste I get of a new band or album sends me scrambling to blog, but that’s what happened in August when I got the first taste of Alpinisms, the debut album from School Of Seven Bells. And while it’s not as though they were an unknown to me – I was more than familiar with their collective past projects (On!Air!Library!, The Secret Machines, Daylight’s For The Birds) but even with those expectations, the first two MP3s released from said album – “Conjurr” and “Half Asleep” – still floored me.
I got a full copy of the album not long after and though there’s nothing that matches those two tracks for pure pop glory, it’s because they don’t really attempt to. Though favouring the dream-pop and electronica musical niches, Alpinisms is a remarkably diverse collection that, for all its eclecticism, still manages to craft a distinct sonic identity. Much of that can be attributed to the dual vocals of sisters Alley and Claudia Deheza, whose tightly intertwined, angelic and otherworldly voices really sound unlike anything else out there. And its this uniqueness that allows the musical backdrop to liberally borrow from the last 20 years or so of sonic ideas – a little Peter Hook bass line here, a little Kevin Shields glide guitar there – and make it sound fresh.
Not everything works – some pieces meander a little more than you’d like, but given the soaring heights of the record’s high points and the obvious talent and creativity the band has on tap, it’s hard not to get excited about what else they might come up with in the future. I only hope that this project has a longer lifespan than their previous ones.
Bradley’s Almanac has got MP3s of My Bloody Valentine’s show at All Tomorrow’s Parties New York in September. Amazingly, they sound quite good and not just like “KKKKKHHKHKHKKKKK”. And if you want to full experience of the “holocaust” section of “You Made Me Realise”, I suggest standing in front of an oscillating fan so that your pants flap while simultaneously getting a full body massage. That’s a start.
Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips talks to The Los Angeles Times about the release – finally – of Christmas On Mars on November 11 (straight to DVD, natch) and the soundtrack of which will pretty much constitute the new Flaming Lips album.
Trailer: Christmas On Mars
Stars have added a third date to their residency at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in December. In addition to the 12th and 13th, they’re now also playing on the 11th.