Saturday, November 12, 2005

Review: Kingsbury Manx, Fast Rise & Fall Of The South

Kingsbury Manx
The fourth full-length release from North Carolina-based Kingsbury Manx sounds, for better & worse, pretty much like the last three. For better because they're an amazing band with a somewhat unique sound; for worse because, well, after three albums (and an EP) which aren't dramatically different from this one, the formula wears a bit thin. That said, it's hard to tell if I found Fast Rise & Fall Of The South a notch below the others just because they've covered this ground before, or because it's a slightly less solid album. Either way, it's another fine effort, certainly worth having, but doesn't necessarily add anything essential to their catalog.

For those who may have missed out on this band 'til now, do yourself a favor and check them out. Think early Pink Floyd (post-Barrett, pre-Dark Side, i.e. More/Obscured By Clouds), tempered with a bit of mellow acoustic Americana (i.e. the Feelies' The Good Earth) and some modern indie pop a la the Shins. Quiet (almost sleep-inducing) tempos, unintrusive harmonies, gentle guitars and keyboards. This is gorgeous stuff, though they do intermittently throw around a bit of distortion and discordance to keep things from getting entirely somnambulistic. A few of the tracks on Fast Rise drag a bit much, even for an album that doesn't exactly zip along at a rapid clip; and while there were a few slow spots on prior albums, for some reason it bugged me a bit more this time around. So if I've piqued your interest at all, I'd have to say go with one of their prior works first (and hard to say which, as they're all pretty great; the first two are almost indistinguishable, both wonderfully languid, while 2003's Aztec Discipline is a bit more upbeat and (almost) poppy. If at that point, like me, you're totally hooked on the band, then it might be worth grabbing the new one.


Post a Comment

<< Home