Perth, Australia's Bluetile Lounge
create one of the most delicately held-together Walls of Sound possible, which means there is something both sad and captivating about the music, with its alternately quiet and loud dynamics always unfurled at the same painstaking pace, which surely takes a few hints from the music of the Velvet Underground
, or more likely that band's prettier descendent Galaxie 500
. The hushed moments act as the spaces in the music, but they seem more like musical shrouds than clarifiers; it is when the guitars, bass, and drums come crashing down that the most introspection is inspired. The sound cacophonies conjured up by the band are like epiphanies, vast, sublime vistas full of brittle chordal architecture, cities in the mind that are wholly intoxicating because they make you wait for the payoff, the end of the dream. The band's second album, Half-Cut
, is full of moments in which tension is built up like a slow-forming tidal wave, almost as if the band stores the tension in some room with the door bowing and splintering under its weight and pressure before letting it out in a great gust of breath that contains everything: frustration, pain, euphoria, bliss, all passing by interminably as objects. There is not always sufficient enough difference between the melodies, especially since many of the songs last seven minutes or longer and the vocals are more like subliminal whispers beneath the music than anything else. Certain songs, however, do rise out of the sound: "Lapsis," a gorgeous, drowsy ballad with a gossamer web of harmonies; the three-minute bit of metaphysical noodling, "Shifty," a listless raga; the short cosmic stomp of "Whiner." But even if Half-Cut
consisted entirely of one long, shimmering, melodic drone like the ones on this album, it would be worth it to let the half-speed beauty sprinkle down over you, like a rain shower on a warm day.