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The artwork that adorns Bristol / Carlisle duo Misophone’s umpteenth home-recorded offering is really lovely. Beautiful muted browns and reds whisper tales of years gone by from a tasteful gatefold matt sleeve… aaaah. It’s the sort of sexy, quality-oozing packaging you want to fondle lingeringly as you slip out the CD, which is something of a surprise when you learn the band are a duo who have never played live and home record their music, usually separately, from completely opposite ends of the country. There will be no cobbling together of things for Misophone though. Before you even hear the music, you can see these guys are serious.
And the first track, jaunty instrumental ‘Blue Bird’, delivers more than enough intrigue to make you want to wander further into that muted, tasteful landscape; a perfect passageway to track two ‘I don’t like what I see’, where you find yourself firmly in the world you were half expecting to end up in. It feels like the sort of thing that might happen if Elliot Smith came back, teamed up with Micah P Hinson, and recorded an alternative soundtrack to indie flick ‘Garden State’ or suchlike. It’s cool, musical, sparse and quirky and a strong opener to the album. And granted, the quirky coolness remains to pervade throughout, but sadly not quite strongly enough.
The fourth (and title) track ‘Another Lost Night’ is a bit of a disappointment. Jangly and annoying; needlessly repetitive… perhaps this isn’t the strange old-time world I thought I was entering at all.
‘Dawning of a new era’ I just found pretentious and rather twee, and by ‘Let us Go then You and I’, a misplaced almighty mess of a song which sounds entirely out of its own depth (that drumming!) I admit, I’m left feeling more than a little let down.
There are still some great things about this record though. Some beautiful raw, spacious production, demonstrated best on the forlorn ‘Held the Hand’ (my stand-out track) and the sweetly melancholic ‘After it got dark’. However, the enticing opener (and that lovely sleeve) ultimately paved the way to disappointment for this listener.
A little empty, a little forced at times, but perhaps just intriguing enough to investigate Misophone further.
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