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
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
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
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!