ALBUM REVIEWS


Breathless
GREEN TO BLUE
TENOR VOSSA RECORDS 26.11.12
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk



A couple of weird things: Only the other day, I got The Durutti Columnís Best Of album out because I was in the mood. Then I stuck this album on and it opened with echoplex guitar and lightly mournful vocals, much like the album Vini Reilly wrote about his motherís death. Second weird thing: I was reading Neil Youngís rambling new book when the first disc closed with Walk Away and, for a moment, I thought it was Crazy Horse. The fuzzed up sound was all there, loping along. Then the PR blurb revealed that the sound is just what the band were deliberately aiming at. Whatever Ė its close enough to make we wonder if you can copyright a bandís modus operandi.

Iíve never come across Breathless before and this set, their third was a revelation. Gothy, glimmering, wistful and full of a glamorous romanticism. Eleven tracks over seventy minutes tell you the band is taking its time, painting broad brushstrokes. They are also polishing each lyric and some lovely vignettes result, for example I Want You To Realise, a gentle self-reflection. The next, Next Time You Fall is similarly paced but features an incisive fuzzed guitar and note of anguish. The whole set is a melancholy shoe-gaze masterpiece, complete in mood and as maudlin as a rag doll in a puddle. Dominic Appletonís voice carries an air of resigned loss while the guitar and E bow howl in a foggy place. Drums keep it steady and the bass rumbles. Everything Is Us carries itself bent double with the weight of regret. Itís Good To See You shimmers like heat on distant tarmac.

Rain Down Now is almost happy, combining the soul sound Bowie imagined with Joy Division drums. Not to worry, Fade Away has glassy, lonely guitar and slow rising bass to give the air of an abandoned house before it slowly whips itself into a shoe-gaze frenzy with howling guitar. The last three tracks have been mixed by Kramer, responsible for work with Low and Galaxie 500. They are a little fuller and muddier than the others and I wish the band had trusted their normal process which blends clarity and space with ringing depths.

Spread over two discs, the music would have squeezed onto one but Iíll forgive them the waste of plastic for the great beauty contained in the grooves.


Ross McGibbon

www.tenorvossa.co.uk