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Moon Bird: Signs Of Illusion

Somehow with a history dating back seventeen years and with eleven albums to their name, not only is Signs Of Illusion my first encounter with the duo of Daryl Lynch (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals and programming) and Jim Kwiecinski (vocals, guitars, keyboards and programming), who make up Moon Bird, but the first time that I've actually heard their name. Something which I'm glad has been rectified. The pair initially worked together in the Phoenix area, creating their music and many albums before in the late nineties things were put on indefinite hold when Jim moved out of the area. Even before the days of the internet, the duo did begin to work together again, sending CDs of ideas through the post to each other, before file-sharing and the like allowed the process to be streamlined into a more conducive creative process. This resulted in three albums in three years between 2009 and 2011, although the pair decided to take a short break before setting the quite wonderful Signs Of Illusion into motion.

The most obvious touching point for Moon Bird is Gilmour led Pink Floyd, with the same easy, yet insistent style creating atmospheric music that engages and cajoles with spirit and vibrancy, while never really getting beyond a gentle jog. That said the likes of "What's Going On" uses voice samples and more obvious electro-beats to conjure up the spirit of early Porcupine Tree, with spacey themes giving a harder edge through biting guitars. Frustratingly however, just as these guitars really kick into position the song fades out and if there was to be one major niggle regarding this album, then it is that at least two of the eight tracks (one an acoustic reworking), cut out just as they seem to be headed for another level of interesting intricacy. The other main culprit of this annoying tendency is "Toxic Sky", where the joyous trudge of Floyd meets latter day RPWL is suddenly punctuated by a singing guitar line that is simply allowed to fade into the distance - just as it promises to reveal new found glories.

However in truth that is the only real complaint with both those songs and the likes of "People" and "Over And Over" offering up shimmering gentle prog, which thankfully arrives in pleasantly different guises. The former again uses loops and fuzzed up, spacey guitars to slide and glide over electronically enhanced vocals, while the latter allows the wonderfully understated vocals from Kwiecinski to take centre stage in their casually unassuming manner. Although the guitar soloing throughout "Over's Reprise" steals the show from its lengthier sibling. To close things out an acoustic take on the album's opener "Perfect Science" uses beautiful acoustic guitar and piano to create a wonderful backing for layers of vocals to capture the imagination. The song's fully electric counterpart being equally engaging.

Signs Of Illusion is a release which seduces and persuades rather than forces and demands and it has to be said it is all the better for it. Leaving an album that not only charms from the very first listen, but one which gently insists you come back for more, revealing subtle nuances that enhance every subsequent visit.


Track Listing
1. Perfect Science
2. Toxic Sky
3. Out Of Time
4. What's Going On
5. People
6. Over And Over
7. Over's Reprise
8. Perfect Science (Acoustic)

Added: April 27th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Moon Bird Music
Hits: 1505
Language: english

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