Children of The Stones “The Stars and The Silence” (Saint Marie, 2014)
Here is the full length we alluded to in our review of last month’s “Extended Play” EP. The same arty effects and soundbytes permeate the release (opener “Love’s Last Loss”, with its distorted, warped vocals and glitchy effects sounds like a film stuck in a projector), but they are effectively offset by Martin Maeers’ beautiful, sensitive vocals that jostle for attention with Mark Van Hoen’s electronic backings and occasional guitar embellishments courtesy Neil Halstead that all raise the results above pretentious studio trickery.
The title track is still a highlight, with its New Order-ish backbeat and boy-next-door vocals that the girls will swoon over, and it’s matched by the perfectly titled chill out floater “Just Like Coming Down” (which makes a lovely companion with Spacemen 3’s “Feel So Good” and Primal Scream’s “I’m Coming Down”).
I’d still like to hear a little more “oomph” injected into the release, as the middle of the album, with tracks like “Ever Within”, “Roll Complete”, and “Tethered” is a little too meandering, verging into Enoesque ambiance, Bowie’s “Low” period, and soundtrack cue music. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and is actually quite pretty and meditative, and things do pick up with the funky swagger of the Love & Rockets-styled stomper “Toward The Umbra”, but listeners should be prepared to temper the get-up-and-dance expectations generated by the earlier EP with extended moments of peaceful navelgazing…or, as the title suggests, thousand yard stares into the night sky contemplating the stars and the silence that envelops them.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2014
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