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The Book Of Knots: Garden Of Fainting Stars

This band's name is borrowed from a 1944 book of sailing knots. Very appropriate considering the disparate musical elements they manage to tie together into a cohesive unit. The core group of Joel Hamilton, Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, and Tony Maimone bring with them a musical pedigree that includes work with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Elvis Costello, Shiner, and They Might Be Giants. The music is slower-paced, dark, and slightly disturbing (I guess that depends on how disturbed you are to start with). Like a soundtrack to a Neil Gaiman-esque version of a creepy circus, The Book Of Knots blends the usual rock instruments of guitar, bass, drums and male and female vocals with piano, strings, sound effects, ambient washes, odd narrations, and electronic elements. The band's website is not updated yet with further info on this third release, but there is also a running lyrical theme of space travel, hinting at chimpanzee astronauts, moondust, planetary mass objects, and Chuck Yeager. You're not going to find displays of virtuosity here. Rather, its like a soundscape for your imagination. Despite it's general oddness, I also don't find myself drifting off into distraction while listening. The music remains engaging throughout. The Book Of Knots is really telling a story, not being weird just to be weird. I'm a stickler for production values as well, and this album is clear and full, something that can be difficult to achieve with all the sound elemts they put together here. I would like more of Carla's vocals though. Her voice reminds me a little of Bjork and Anneke van Giersbergen, and it's a great lilting, dreamy contrast to the jarring music. Recommended for fans of the previously mentioned SGM and Tom Waits, and bands like Stolen Babies. Definitely an album for headphones as well.

Track Listing

  1. Microgravity
  2. Drosophila Melanogaster
  3. Moondust Must
  4. Lissajous Orbit
  5. Garden Of Fainting Stars
  6. All This Nothing
  7. Yeager's Approach
  8. Planemo
  9. Nebula Rasa
  10. Obituary For The Future

Added: July 11th 2011
Reviewer: Sean Gill
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4197
Language: english

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