Saturday, March 28, 2015
Marriages : " Salome"
This trio spawned off of the Red Sparowes and have been killing the stage opening for the likes of Chelsea Wolfe after releasing the impressive "Kitsune". The first thing that grabs your attention this go around is their singer. Her singing gets the most improved award for the album. Not that she was a bad singer before, her vocals have really stepped up to the next level and given the space to be used as an instrument just as impressive as the guitar, bass or drums. She was a more purring alto, which she flexes into some vocal lines that are more aggressive that the guitar that has taken on an even more dreamy quality time time around. At times this gives them more in common with A Perfect Circle or Tori Amos then the Russian Circles post-rock they brewed before. Sure some of the melodies are more radio friendly, but this is a far cry from selling out. You can't blame a girl for wanting to sing.
There is a more heavenly soaring into the same stratosphere the Cocteau Twins once flew on "Skin" though Emma's voice reminds me more of Dolores from the Cranberries here than Elizabeth Fraser. The bass drives many of these songs leaving the drum to pound dizzying circles around it. The sleeker song writing is really showcased on "Santa Sangre" which shows how much the band has matured to use the restraint it takes to serve the song and allow the vocals to become the focal point rather than just another texture. "Southern Eye" finds them drifting from a Cure like throb into a more gutsy crunch that has more of a straight ahead rock attack than their previous work. The bass tone stays thicker and more distorted than the guitar even in these moments.The darker more introspective musings continue with a similar formula, but with an even more emotional impact on "Binge". The title sounds like they are playing underwater, its so dreamy and distant. Only her vocals really reach out from the murky wall of sound they have created which would make most shoe gazing bands envious.
"Less Than" takes the shoe gazing guitar tone sets it against the hard rock beef of the bass. Emma's yearning takes on a Tori Amos quality, fitting into between the syncopation perfectly. this delivery makes the lyrics stand out, I could not tell you want any of the songs on "Kitsune" were about , but here the message is much clearer. "Love, Texas" finds the back in narcotic pulse of the Cure. They close out the album with "Contender" which shifts it's way through a similarly effect forest of tingling guitar and pleading vocals.
It's very easy to give this album a 10. They deserve all the praise they might get for not being afraid to shed some of the pretense of post-rock and just focus on writing good vocal driven songs. Emma has stepped up to the mic with a vocal performance few albums are going to be able to beat this year. Chelsea Wolfe better bring her A game.