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Sciflyer
The Age Of Lovely, Intimate Things
Clairecords
www.sciflyer.net


For a number of years, Sciflyer has been at the front of the revivalist shoegaze scene. Last year's Fair Weather Karma was a mid-tempo opus of dense guitars and brilliant rhythm work. The just released ep The Age Of Lovely, Intimate Things is the next logical step in the progression and growth of the band, with one notable exception. Before now, the band has always had vocals that played a backseat role to the rest of the music, but were always distinctively vocals, and recognizable. On TAOLIT the band seems to have toned down the vocal production to a level of sub-instrumentation. The words are mumbled and nowhere on the record do the lyrics draw attention to themselves, as they can never be understood. That is my one and only complaint about this set of tunes though…

The album is full of the jangling guitars and crispy drumming that set apart the shoegaze bands from the rest of the dreampop crowd. These songs float around your head, swirling masses of glorious sonic splendor. The drumming is understated at most times, provided a gentle rhythmic undercurrent for the entire record. Melodically, TAOLIT is highly advanced and shows a total growth from Sciflyer's previous works, finally ranking them right up alongside the old masters of the genre, such as Slowdive. The guitars achieve some fantastic tonal qualities, especially on "Like An Ion", where there is a sharp, yet smooth, buzzing fuzz guitar that makes the song an immediate favorite. "Never Come Down" takes the beauty and calm of the previous four tracks and elevates it to a sonic level resembling the early days of My Bloody Valentine - full of eerily pitched distortions and feedback heavy lead lines built on a stoic and precise slowdown throb.

This new record will appeal to established fans of shoegaze, and established fans of Sciflyer's work, but I fear that few new converts to the dream are going to be made, simply because of the lack of vocal presence on the record. I'm all for voice as instrument, as long as it is clear and understandable… but that leaves a little room for improvement on the next full length.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. The Nation
2. Proxima Centauri
3. The Same Thing Goes For Christmas
4. Like An Ion (pop renaissance 7" version)
5. Never Come Down


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Mike Doughty



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