Suspended between shoegazing and electronica, British proggers roll their rocks up the hill and let it loose.
No matter what the title of their second album may imply, this combo’s modus operandi hasn’t shifted from dreamy soundscapes to rhythm-and-blues, but that doesn’t mean Nick Adams and Peter Jeal can’t get no satisfaction when it comes to the groove. Dealing with earthlings’ erstwhile harmony and hinting at both megalithic magic and Babylonian hubris, the London duo’s sophomore effort will feature a few hard rock riffs further down the line, and though the line of ambient sort can be elusive, the beauty is always there. As synthesizers envelop guitar strum, details of a sophisticated, if transparent, tapestry emerge to take the listener to the past – imaginary and genuine.
For all its new-age panorama, there’s tremendous dynamic depth to the slow motion of “Hie Thee Sungates” whose baroque-tinctured folk motifs are gradually stricken with electronic effects, enabling them to embrace cosmic consciousness and acquire instrumental voices on a titular track, while the flute and organ elevate “Horses” without really moving the tune forward until beats bring on a heavy, yet catchy, sway to try and explode into space. Still, “Sun Loose In The Sky” compromises the psychedelic attack of Adams’ strings by swinging Jeal’s ivories in a dance-like manner, whereas “Raise The Stars” relocates the menace to serene pastures before “Meadows Starred With Flowers” applies metallic clang to the melody and makes the album’s overall joie de vivre obvious and universal.