School Of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire
It opens with the heavily Indian music influenced version of "Wired for Light" which is just not what you have in mind when you hear that this is a dream pop album. I can understand bands wanting to do something different, but it has to be worth the while. It gets marginally better with the next track, "Half Asleep" but the propensity for cluttering the sound with a really irritating drum machine is already apparent. At this point, the possibilities opened up by having identical twins sharing the vocals becomes apparent but it never reaches its full potential during the course of the album. "White Elephant Coat" marks a return to Indian inspired musical themes but never really seems to get going. And that pretty much sums up the whole of this part of the extended CD. It never gets going. It never gets off the ground and while there are some interesting possibilities opened up, they never fully materialise. The juxtaposition of the simple acoustic guitar of "Caldo" with the electronic pulsing of "Sempiternal/Amaranth", which goes on for far too long, doesn't work. "Iamundernodisguise" isintenselyirritatinginawayIcannotdefine. "My Cabal" (pronounced ‘cable'?) is back to the irritating drum machine clicking away and by the time I reach the ninth and final track of Alpinisms I have already lost patience with the album.
The original album redeems this somewhat but cannot make up for it entirely. As with so many bands who get labelled as shoegaze these days, the inevitable boring and misplaced comparison with My Bloody Valentine surface - and for good measure another load of inappropriate comparisons with the Cocteau Twins get thrown in too. In truth, this is mildly pleasant dream pop with little that is original or interesting in it. "Windstorm" is okay and "ILU" is probably the best track on the album, but the rest of it scarcely merits a mention. The fascination with Indian music (well maybe Arabian this time) puts in an appearance on "Babelonia" while the final track, "The Wait" is just six minutes of droning synthesiser with little to recommend it.
Basically, this is a musical dead end. There is nothing in here that hasn't been done before - and better - by others. It never gets going and always seems to have you hanging on tenterhooks for all the wrong reasons: you are waiting for that moment which makes listening to it all worthwhile. Sadly, that moment never materialises. The key to it is that, when you first listen to it, you can be forgiven for thinking that there is something new in here. But the more you listen, the less you retain that feeling that this is something unique and more that you have heard it all before - a piece there, a phrase there, a sequence, a mood, a pattern. But in the end it is all to no avail. Sure enough I can have it on in the background, but there is never a moment where I stop doing whatever I am doing and listen to the music for those moments where something new and interesting grabs and holds your attention. There is no stand out track which captures your imagination and draws you into the rest of it. It all ends up being much of a muchness. I suggest you spend your hard earned cash on something else.
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on 2011-05-04 CharlesMartel Said:
This was such a disappointment. I had seriously expected more from the School of Seven Bells, but this lacks emotion and above all lacks sufficient power to draw the listener in and keep his attention.