Two Step Horror "Nyctophilia" (2014)
Two-Step Horror, duo Thordur Grímsson and Anna Margrét Björnsson, have released their third album, Nyctophilia. For listeners of this group, the work may be their best effort to date. The nine tracks pay homage to the blues tradition and admirably rework the classic model. The record begins with the instrumental, “Somebody Sleeping”, and one immediately spotlights the quality of the sound production, which channels a cold, nordic Spiritualized/Spectrum vibration. Their phaser guided melody advances into the blues-noir of “The Circle”, which emphasizes sultry cymbal-play, oceanic guitar, and smokey vocals. “Sinner Blues” initiates what sounds as a sparkling percussion of boots and spurs, and a desert-guitar melody which extends itself throughout a vastness of space. Confidence and an innocence are heard in both vocals and guitar, and as such compliment each other like the best blues-western duos of time past.
The fourth track, “Lonesome Town”, a cover of a song made famous by Ricky Nelson, is an agreeably reverberated take on an old standby. “Night Terror” is a druggy organ/guitar track which likens itself to a Martin Rev/Badalamenti collaboration on sedatives. “Resonated” contains a sinister whistle solo, giving Nyctophilia an authentic High and Lonesome sound. The musical arrangements and its components are both pleasing and well-structured through-out. The work is an album of midnight smoke-tunes with gritty, yet polished tones of hi-end medium fuzz and opulent vocal and percussive effects. The listener is called forth by the mysterious whisper and lured further into the dark of this album, learning to love this darkness, and ultimately realizing ones Nyctophilia. A recommended night-trip. Favorite tracks: “Sinner Blues” and “Wonder”.
Review made by Kyle James/2014
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