Release DetailsLABEL Hydra Head
RELEASED ON 9/24/2005
A Sunset Panorama
posted on 10/2005 By:
This is one of those albums that ended up at MetalReview because of the label that released it rather than the style of music it contains. At any rate, packages from Hydra Head are always welcome, and although Logh is entirely un-metal, this case is no exception. On their third album, these Swedes serve up an entirely respectable brand of indie rock influenced by Sonic Youth and more recent acts like Mogwai. For our indie-challenged readership–we’re not talking sugary pop rock here; Logh typically maintain a downcast intensity (think Radiohead) or occasionally, the casual aloofness of late Pavement. The varied volume and intensity of the vocals, when propped up by plush, shimmering melodies and clean, sustained notes, gives the band has a sullen and introspective vibe, without falling into the trappings of self indulgent mopiness. The album flows nicely, alternating between heavier, mid-tempo tracks (“A Sunset Knife Fight”, “My Teacher’s Bed”), mellow ones (“Bring on the Ether”, “Asymmetric Tricks”), and sparse, quiet shoe gazers like “The Big Sleep” and “Ahabian”. The album is capped by the upbeat, punkish “An Alliance of Worlds”, which features some Pixies flavored guitar work. The songs are layered nicely and the band frequently offsets busy downward strumming with accents of ringing guitar and/or keyboard notes, which adds to the album’s melancholic energy. On “The Smoke Will Lead You Home” the band juxtaposes an undeniable hook with defeated spirit to create the kind of tone of hopeful resignation perfected by Marr/Morrissey.
The band rehearsed the material for this album for six months, and once they were in the studio they hammered out the whole thing in about ten hours. The result sounds great, and you’d never know that it was such a rush job, but the band provides some proof in the form of a bonus DVD that documents the recording process. Despite the shortened length of this review, most readers will have hit the “Back” button on their browsers long before reaching this second paragraph. But for those of us that enjoy a little variety, Logh is very much worth a look. I’ll definitely be revisiting A Sunset Panorama, and I surely can’t say that about all the albums I review.
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