DONOVAN’S BRAIN / FRAUDBAND – Burnt Trees In The Snow

Career 2019

DONOVAN’S BRAIN /
FRAUDBAND –
Burnt Trees In The Snow

Spill the noise and split the choice: kindred spirits from America and Australia venture out in the cold to set the world on fire.

While there seems to be no common ground between these two acts – except for DB’s Deniz Tek having shot to fame in Oz where FB hail from – they share a lot of sharp-edged sonics, so taking sides in the context of a single record shouldn’t result in any confrontation, despite the fact that the former ensemble employ vocals and the latter prefer purely instrumental existence. Which is why the pieces comprising “Burnt Trees In The Snow” flow quite organically, even though the vinyl wouldn’t allow to shuffle it all in order to intersperse the previously released material by the Melbourne duo with recent musings from the Montana collective. The original flow’s results, the “psych conspiracy” as the bands call their rapport, are intense, if not necessarily arresting, anyway.

It’s impossible to resist the tuneful storm of “Flash Containment” that bridges the continental gap with a slab of space rock, yet other DB songs – the retrofuturistic “Kelp Whip” or “Gandy Dancer” whose muscular jangle sees Ron Sanchez’s bass fall into the groove that Ric Parnell’s drums lay down – ooze melancholy. This synthesizers-kissed shoegaze pop is reflected not only in a glossy plea of “Hear Me” but also in FB’s “What Comes Next”: a flamenco-esque, unexpectedly sparse cut for the otherwise full-on strings-and-skins combo. Whereas their “You Never Said” has deliciously serrated minimalism applied to its rifferama and the twangy march of “Better Loosen Up” feels bellicose enough to attack Goliath, the sprawling “Making Things Better By Making Them Worse” brings progressive sensibility to the fore as if to circle back to the meetup’s onset.

That’s when the common ground will be revealed for further exploration. An adventure awaits.

***2/3

September 12, 2019

Category(s): Reissues, Reviews
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