Sunday, June 28, 2009

Album Review: Blindfold - Faking Dreams

Icelandic music makes me want to go to Iceland. It must be a landscape of endless ice castles and sparkling sunlight. Around every corner is some mythic beauty that causes you to weep on your knees for the ruined fate of our species. They know with a certainty that the world is beautiful and we are only getting in the way of this. Blindfold wraps this ethereal image in pop music and sends it running over an endless field of compositions that fill the entire room with their sound.

This is a rich, layered, spectral and occasionally melancholy pop music that makes me smile and cry at the same time. I am a sucker for reverb and the production value on this record sets the level just right, neither blurring out the structure or letting you back down out of the clouds for too long. It is deft and classy arrangement showing a long familiarity with the band and what they're going for. I've spent some time looking for production credits out there on the tubes and I can't find any. If you know who produced this, I'd love to hear from you.

There is an element that I find lacking in a lot of music that I get in spades here. Dynamic range. I like the big, swelling crescendos, the long build up and the feeling like a wave of music just took your feet out from underneath you. Quiet moments in the record where all the clouds part and you can watch a single bird fly across the sunlight. Loud, angry thrashing guitars that threaten to break down the walls of your mind. I like range and Blindfold has delivered it to me.

Caffeine and Sleeping Pills is my favorite track so far, though I think that had more to do with my intimate familiarity with that particular sense of surreality than anything else. They do a great job lyrically and tonally bringing me to those horrible and glorious 5 AM moments where you don't know if it's more coffee or more drugs that you really want.

I am an admitted fan of music that sounds like its name. Their songs are descriptive tone poems that are drawing out a long night spent watching the river flow by and wondering why you haven't slept in a week. There is a constant sense of the distant horizon always beckoning as an escape from whatever nightmare has you in its clutches and you want to go there. It is potential, it is potent and it is persistent. It is worth listening to, preferably alone during that mysterious hour of 4 AM, watching mists and drinking something unbelievably alcoholic.

Faking Dreams will be released on August 1st, 2009 directly from the band.

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