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Band Of Rain: Garlands

Ozric Tentacles is the elder statesman of space music, and were instrumental in developing the style of lost notes floating around in space looking for a home but never finding it. Unlike traditional forms of music, the point of spacey music is to create a vibe, a sonic backdrop for the spaced out. It's a relatively unstructured format characterized by meandering sounds, melodic but without melody, and you can imagine yourself zoning out to the ambient tones and the moods and the atmospheres.

Think of it as the soundtrack to your dreams.

Garlands fits that mold, but thankfully it has more substance to it and many of the songs actually seem to have a purpose to them - vague though it may be in places. There's a lot of reverb with much of this music, and the mastering blends most elements into the broad soundscape of a spacey ambience, with just the guitar powering its way through occasionally providing an interesting feet-on-the-ground contrast.

The first impression you get when listening to Garlands is the synthetic beat at the beginning - a synth-pop beat that starts 5 seconds in, and it's there - on and off - all the way through the CD. Then the synth keys provide a spacey backdrop to the simple yet elegant sound of well played guitars, and the stage is well set for the rest of the record. The rare vocals on "Ghost Town" will recall Chris Rhea, or J.J.Cale.

In "Voyager", that repetitive synthetic percussion does little to ground the synth and guitar-generated textures and the formless ambience that has little melody or purpose - it's a low-energy flow that rarely seems to build up. Yet the next song" introduces strong guitar sounds, and rich mid-ranged female vocals, yielding a pleasing piece that bears several revisits. And on "The Flying Sorcerer" there's an aggression, and the oft-repeated motif from the song's intro is in a style that could have come from a Charles Brown record. Still - even this track is about mood rather than melody, sonics rather than structure.

With its gutsy guitars and the wonderful - if rare - female vocals, Garlands stands apart from most space music and will have appeal to a wider audience. Give it a try.

Track Listing:
1. Ghost Town
2. Test Pilot
3. Voyager
4. All Moonlit Through The Trees
5. Magnetic South
6. The Flying Sorcerer
7. Lady Evening Star
8. Beneath My Tree
9. Sun On The Mountain
10. Garlands
11. Clouds

Added: July 14th 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: Band Of Rain's Web Site
Hits: 3051
Language: english

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