15 March 2006

guillemots - "who left the lights off, baby?" (from the from the cliffs ep, BUY! BUY! BUY!)

a bit unusual, this middle of the day posting of new material, but i can't believe i forgot to mention that the guillemots released an american ep.

yes, vs&l's favorite new band forever #1a, the guillemots, thanks to the eminently lovable people at fantastic plastic records, have released a domestic collection of their work to date, as the world waits for the release of the "we're here" single.

"trains to brazil" has already featured in these pages and those of you here for that probably need no further goading to pick up this release, which at eight tracks and forty minutes of playing time, as long as many lp's, is the v. definition of bargain at $9.99. posted above, though, you'll find "who left the lights off, baby?" which is at the v. least the equal of "trains to brazil," which shares w/ that song a chorus that's like rockets to the moon. oh, and it has the best saxophone solo i've heard since "born to run."

over the moon is where the guillemots take me; no other band right now is is well-placed to make music that can excite me so (still shame about the typography, though). which is precisely why i felt the need to make this emergency posting. basically, run don't walk--better still, drive to the nearest decent record store and pick this up posthaste. okay?


Anonymous said...

Your new favorite band is contagious.

R. said...

Whenever I listen to the Guillemots, the main thing I hear is unrealized potential. In spades. Obviously there is something exciting happening melodically; who ever's penning these tunes has a special gift. But all the songs I've heard are criminally under-produced. I like an understated arrangement as much as the next guy, but there's so much missing here.

When I hear this track in particular, I get the same sensation I get eating Cool Whip straight from the tub. Tasty, but light and empty.

I also get the overwhelming sense that someone in the recording studio accidentally muted three critical sliders on the sound board. Horns, additional keys, strings, something.

The foundation is there and that's way more than half the battle, but it needs more follow-through. It's very good, but it could and should be so much more.

fred said...

no, i think you're right. this is a deep-seated worry of mine. i remind myself that these are just singles and ep's, and that they'll have it all worked out by the time they release the lp.

but. the nine-minute songs give me pause, esp. when fantastic pop songs exist w/in them. they are a v., v. indulgent band; i hope they work that out.

also : i thought the production on "who left the lights out" was originally down to a poor mp3. i find this is not the case now w/ the cd; it's there and, again, needs to be worked out.

R. said...

Very interesting.

When I first downloaded "Who Left" a few months back, I too thought I had a bad mp3 transfer.

Hopefully these recordings will get into some more accomplished hands and get the fleshing out they deserve.

Mind you, I'm not looking for something over-the-top and bombastic, but I would like to hear more heft and oomph to give that soaring melody the accompaniment it deserves.