Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Curse the Traced Bird" by Spires That in the Sunset Rise

"Curse the Traced Bird" was released in 2008 on Secret Eye Records.
This album, for all intents and purposes, is just awful. I stumbled across the band while searching through Wikipedia pages about psychedelic folk. This album is not psychedelic folk. This album is more of a soundtrack to a peyote-fueled vision quest than a psychedelic folk album. It alternates between explosions of atonal racket, haunting vowely female voices with an occasionally identifiable song (with words and structure and stuff) thrown in for good measure, or at least to snap you back to reality before that dragon gets a hold of you.

It's unfortunate, as well, because you can almost see what they were trying to do: psychedelic folk. Don't mistake my detesting this album as my detesting the band. No, I can see that the band is talented and I can understand they had a certain vision established, but quite frankly, somewhere something didn't line up. There's points on the album that sound as if someone has dropped a banjo down a stairwell and she and her friends warble sadly about it as it bounces from step to step. They're better than that.

On the song Java Pop, you can clearly hear that they know how to write songs. It's weird, oh trust you me, it's weird. But it's sonically interesting and the lyrics that you can discern are pretty well written. It's almost Devendra-esque in that there is some sort of pop sensibility, but it retains just enough weirdness to be... well... weird. Except this would be the flipside of that, where it is mostly weird, and only partially structured as a song, which kind of defines the entire album: unnecessary weirdness with a song or two thrown in.

I don't think Spires that in the Sunset Rise are together anymore, though I can't find anything that says they aren't. They have a Myspace, but nothing besides, and even that looks to be infrequently updated.

Rating: 2/10
Standout Tracks: Java Pop?

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