Monday, August 27, 2012

Disappears' "Guider": Music Review

This picks up where the debut album "Lux" left off the year before. "Superstition" channels John Lydon's early PiL style with an approach recalling The Black Angels as contemporary proponents of drone and density in a post-punk, drone-stunned wail. "Not Romantic" dips into a similar style, but slows to allow a darker, cavernous mood in a measured, more Goth mode which fits the title. It sways back and forth between a wall of sound and an opening into space beyond, showing the band's interest in expanding within the confines of the short songs dominating this sophomore 2011 record on the great Kranky label.

"Halo" locks into a Krautrock groove behind the singer's chants to show off their ability to keep a pulse behind the anthemic, if dour, vocals. These do not grate, however, but match the intensity of the simple, happily repetitive, but energetic and surging sounds, in homage to their German influences. The title track speeds it up, with a more anthemic quality added to another Krautrock beat mixed into a more punk-flavored insistence again conveyed by the vocals and the guitar's attempt to rise above. For the first half of the album, it's the most accessible invitation to the band's intentions.

"New Fast" starts with a scratchy guitar and more ominous warm-up before a very Goth direction takes control under shimmering waves. It also recalls an earlier version of a darker My Bloody Valentine, and the title of the CD reminds me of "Glider," I admit. It's not as rousing as the previous songs, but it does show the variety of Disappears, beyond their preference for a louder post-punk snarl. They wisely choose short song lengths and this keeps the dyspeptic pace peppy.

"Revisiting," at more than fifteen minutes, is about as long as the previous songs combined. This mini-epic opens, as you might expect, with a Krautrock guitar groove over electronic effects and a percolating bass backed by steady drums. It gradually builds with elongated vocals that hearken back to the title track of the 2010 album "Lux." These frame neatly an rolling, instrumental section of what veers near space rock. But, at four times that song's length, what value's added?

Well, it's the first long song from Disappears. It allows them space to dig deeper into a rhythm, and their experimental side favoring more than the two- or three-minute (post-)punk needs a hearing on record, too. I admit this kind of sound pleases me and it could go on and on, so if you share my attention span, seek out this record which will reward you, too. (P.S. See my reviews of "Lux" and the 2012 album "Pre Language") (Amazon 7-6-2012)

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