Sanguine Hum — The Weight of the World
(Esoteric Recordings EANTCD1014, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-29
On their second full-length studio release, this British four-piece has crafted a remarkably original and compelling set of tunes that even surpasses their previous Diving Bell from two years ago, and that in itself is no small feat, as that disc was nothing short of excellent. Convoluted compositions borne of complex riffing, ever-shifting angular melodic sensibilities, powerful vocals, and judicious application of a wide range of dynamic possibilities make this an interesting listen from the first moment to the last. Throughout, the arrangements are clever, challenging and refined, but easy on the ears, shifting from grand symphonics to intense jagged rock to something akin to the acoustic songwriter side of Porcupine Tree. The composite of elements that make up their sound are highly original, but at times seem to be informed by others who have gone before. The vocals, all sung by guitarist Joff Winks, recall early 10cc though not as rich on the harmony side. The guitar riffage mixed with the rhythms that crop up in most of the seven cuts occasionally recall Echolyn, and at times keyboardist Matt Baber seems to be channeling Frank Wyatt; the similarities with Happy the Man are unmistakable at times. There’s also a Canterbury thread running through much of their music, though without any of the overt jazz influences. The last three cuts “Day of Release,” “Phosphor,” and the three-part title track comprise what is, in essence a side-long suite that pushes all the right prog buttons. Overall, a very powerful release.
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more