Saturday, February 28, 2015

Marching Church : "This World Is Not Enough"

 Elias Bender Ronnenfelt the lead singer of Iceage has launched a solo project which I having been juggling equal amounts of excitement and apprehension as I wondered if considering his singing style ,would a solo project it be able to find it's own identity? The answer is yes. This is due to the wild shift away from punk rock this album takes.  Elias' emotive slur his still present. He moans and mumbles beyond the range of expression he uses in Iceage. The band features members of Lower(drummer/ bassist), Puce Mary(keyboards), Hand of Dust, Sexdrome(guitar) and Choir of Young Believers(Cello).

"Young Americans" feel to "King of Song". The steamy simmer of "Hungry For Love" has a dark jazz inflection lurking in the pulse of the music his disoriented ranting exudes over. These songs are allowed much more time to build and not the one, two, three punk-rock Iceage used to throw themselves into before"Plowing into the Field of Love". This album throbs , drones and hypnotizes more than the last Iceage album. The range of this albums touches on a scope of music that "Plowing the Fields of Love" did not even in it's more rock n roll direction. "Your Father's Eyes" brushes against Otis Redding styled soul in its final minutes.

The approach to songs writing with the project differs from his other band. At times it sounds like Elias was allowed to stumble into the vocal booth and just sing what ever came off the top on his head and the band came in and played around it. The more free form wandering is highlighted on songs like "Calling Out A Name".  With "Every Child" they hit on a jazzy blues ridden groove that would not be out of place on a Tom Waits album.

There is a more Nick Cave like brooding to the slow western slither of "Up  a Hill"The last song is more like an outro for me it never gains momentum and fades out on a rainy New Orleans jazz vibe. The last two songs ease the album out on a graceful note that puts the breaks on some of the momentum built up. This will more than likely continue to grow on me as I went this not expecting what happened. I'll round this one up to a 9 and leave it with room to grow on me. You can't call this post-punk, but saying it's indie -rock seems like a gross understatement as well, they have crafted some smoldering post-jazz blues punk I suppose.

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