Oakland group outline gloomy view of the world and propose a plan of fixing it.
“If abundance proves fruitless, then progress is to dispossess”: this line might sum up this trio’s modus operandi, if only they lived by such a motto – yet the little ensemble’s burden seems too traditional for the space and time they occupy. In today’s Californian climate, homespun philosophy would feel superficial no matter how much frowning is applied to intensify it, and how much Iommian blackness is smeared all over pessimistic verses. But when many people are meek and silent, the trinity try, which is hard to underestimate.
Still, the viscous riff propelling “+x-” to nevermore offers a fine reflection on the approximate futility of the Great Unknown, and there’s also suburban ennui to alienate the less vulnerable spirits who crave a dose of adventure. Thankfully, “The New Dream” has sitar woven into its crunch allowing singer Jimmy Tomahawk’s guitar strum and squeal to stitch hippie idealism to current reality, whereas Tai Hake’s bass and Cole Andrew’s drums fuel the flames with righteous rage and keep “Fire In Disguise” in instrumental focus, while the raga behind “Sandstorm” is too regular to really register with the listener.
It takes acoustic lace of “Only Liars” to introduce the trio’s true sensibility and unfurl their folk-embroidered flags before a spaced-out horror is let loose for “How On Earth” and alternative angle of “Pushing The Stone” dissolves the preceding assault in languid worry – to return the drift to the futility motif again. Given this, it’s quite strange that the band are “seeking to be heard” – yet “They Are We” deserves attention, even though they have to try harder for those who hear it not to get bored.