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Alkali Flats
Outen The Light
Bazaar Of All Nations
www.alkaliflats.com


Ordinarily, I'm not supposed to give a full review to short albums and EP's, but man, Alkali Flats' EP Outen the Light is just that good that I have let everyone know. There is nothing definitively special about this record, no brilliantly clever songwriting, no especially witty lyrics, no insane musical abilities, yet it is just excellent music. They excel at the simple, and focus on the vibe surrounding the main lines and carry it through to a near perfect final product.

"The Visitor" moves with a nice rhythm, and an almost whimsical, but nonetheless, memorable vocal line. "In This Town" is a laid back, bass-driven masterpiece that you can't help but nod your head to. The guitar lines alternate from mere distraction filler to full presence, followed by a sweet lead line. "Queen for a Day" should be a monotonous song with its repetitive guitar lines, reminiscent of Lungfish, but the exquisite vocal line pulls the song higher, and lets into a subtle backing for greater emphasis. "No Cylinders are Firing" is probably my least favorite song on the album, but it still grabs my attention every time with its basic changes and movement. And for a least favorite album song, it is heads above other songs out there on the radio. "Close Enough" is a hauntingly perfect end to this brilliant album. The vocals and bass lead the listener into a state of nirvana, and it makes me wish the song would never end.

The production is awesome for this short piece of work; the give and take of instruments is so subtle and genius as to make me cry. I always appreciate it when one specific instrument or another does not drive the album; rather the songs are approached individually as to what best compliments the overall feel. Alkali Flats has perfected this and other bands could learn a thing or two from them.

The piano deserves a special mention because of how it appears on the album. It is barely there, but with good reason; the lines it plays are meant for the background with nothing essential to it being in the forefront. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the piano lines or quality of the musician, I am actually giving them a compliment. The lines don't dominate and moreover sacrifice for the whole to create a better song. That's just excellent usage, and should be applauded.

I am in awe of how simple yet moving this album is. It is the unassuming nature of this record that will earn it time in my CD player, and moreover, it is an album I will cherish for years to come.

-bishop

Track listing:

1) The Visitor
2) In This Town
3) Queen for a Day
4) No Cylinders are Firing
5) Close Enough


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Mike Doughty



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