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- Innocence Man by Easter
I utterly adore it when I encounter a recording that I cannot stop listening to; believe me in this job you sometimes tire of the constant barrage of new music, all you want is to settle into some old favourites sometimes and forget the industry and this mini album is exactly that - already an old fave and it's not out 'till next week! Partly the appeal is it's only six tracks long meaning that rather than being dragged along the ridge of some over-long ego trip to the point of irritation, exhaustion or both, Easter truly leave you panting for more, or maybe just another replay...and another. So....what's the buzz? Um, well...this band of brothers from Manchester forge a dusty brand of heady, melancholic indie/post-rock that recalls anyone from prime Buffalo Tom to Irish heartbreak maestro Adrian Crowley without succumbing to those blatant Americanisms, you know...them. They also occasionally touch on the more recent excursions from cult under-rated post-hardcore types Lazarus Clamp - the beautifully laced guitars chime and growl, the powerful tumbling drums are full of inventive fills and chief songwriter Thomas Long's yearning baritone vocals are imbued with such a wrenching regret and sadness - much like the wonderful aforementioned Crowley - that I feel my likkle tummy do backflips,,,AWW!
So in a small sea of utterly great songs, 'Never Me' comes over especially as a particularly stunning track, smothered in some of the most delirious fizzing, swooping and gnarly psychedelic wafts of guitarchitecture. This maelstrom transforms what could be merely a heartbreaking slice of downer-rock into something life-affirming and undeniably powerful. Overall 'Innocence Man' contains bleeding raw, passionate and strangely rustic music, all seeping with a quiet dynamism, a bristlingly melodic countenance, frayed 'n' bared souls, thrilling walls of wild, dense guitar interplay, a spot of cello and, to cap it all, bloody memorable tunes! All this comes subtly produced by guitarist Danny Saul with his strong desire to dispense with "the loudness wars" I.E. it sounds real and intimate! Yeah, THIS is how rock music should sound, not like the uber-compressed empty shell of vacuity that is the dreadful new Smashing Pumpkins album. Let the kids have their fun, i've just found mine in this evocative mercurial effort. One of the finest things i've wrapped my ears round this year without a shadow of a doubt!
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