Thursday, August 27, 2015

no:carrier : "Ghosts of the West'

This is our second look at this band. Last time around we were pretty pleased about the futuristic dark wave this duo was cranking out. Their newest offering which was released back in May is something very different. In most cases you would think that making a cover album would be taking the easy way out, but no: carrier isn’t easy on themselves, they not only pick songs that are not what you would expect from an electronic duo, but they approach three of the four songs using different singers. While there are still elements of the dark wave sheen that marks the sound, of their previous album, there is a more organic rock feel to most of the songs. Another creative choice the band has made is the albums thematic nature, which pays homage to the west coast.

 The first of the cover songs in the band being their take on "Don Henley's "Boys of Summer". It carries the hushed introspection of Henley's original, but you can imagine Billy Idol having a similar approach to the song if he covered it, as the song rides the line of new wave and rock like "Eyes Without a Face". Audio Terrorist singer Kalib Duarte certainly gets the job done and adds his own brand of passion to the performance rather than serving up too much tribute to the former Eagles drummer. The programmed drums on this song shift around the pocket that the straight radio rock beat would slavishly adhere to. With the help of Melissa Harding they take on Belinda Carlisle's "California". This song is executed with a steamy pulse in the same Hollywood zip code as the likes of Lana Del Rey. The backing vocals are well layered and used like another instrument rather than just to bolster her voice. They convey both the glamour as well as the darker cloud of unclenched dreams that haunts the city. This is followed by Laura Lee Brown's husky approach to Toney Carey from Rainbow's classic "Room With a View". They have darkened the song up to reflect the desperation in the lyrics, which tell the tale of the ever growing homeless population, that was mild when this song was written compared to the cities with in city that are cropping up under bridges through the urban landscape.

 The projects lead singer Cynthia Wechselberger finally appears on t traditional Irish folk song " She Move Through" is pretty haunting. She sings with the same reverence to the traditional versions of the song much like Dead Can Dance does when they approach timeless folk songs that span the ages. The electronics provide atmosphere in the background, but allow her voice to shine. They show surprising restraint and seem to be playing it pretty straight until the final forty-five seconds where they blast into full-blown electronica. This album might not fit neatly into your preferred genre, but it is a bold new step for the band and deserves as listen to fans of edm, goth or dark wave, as it is none of those things and yet all of those things. Bands use to be this adventures and unafraid to color outside of the lines so it's good to see that no:carrier was brave enough to give this a shot as it pays for them and pushes them forward to a limitless future.


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