08 July 2010

Reaching Away - push away the moon (2010, McMurtrey)

Between 2000 and 2005, The Pine came out of nowhere, impossible to classify. How to deal with a typical post-hardcore band, with an untypical vocalist and whose music finally even if obviously based on distorted screaming electric guitar always had in the background the same kind of aura of shoegazer bands like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine or The Cocteau Twins, yes totally different, whose energy, dynamism, melancholic depth and tension would recall the glory days of Seam, Codeine and Mineral, yet within another form. Four albums and a bunch of split 7inches and compilation tracks, The Pine appeared out of nowhere and disappeared without much evolution five years later, as a brilliant idea with nice drawings on their sleeves and so far their discography aged very well. The circle was done.

Roger King unplugged his electric guitar, to come back, after a five years hiatus, with just a different drummer, as Reaching Away, with a first album "Push away the moon". The vocals, still unique and particular, are now more in front and less hidden behind waves of guitars, the filiation and influence of Morrissey and The Smiths comes as an evidence. What is sadly much more typical and average is the muscular folk oriented clothing of their music which steals this translucent grace so typical of The Pine. With Reaching Away they have their feet on the ground and even if Roger King has got all the room he would need to explore quieter and more subtle forms, he is always animated with the same rage as before and sings as if he was still fronting a full wall of raging guitars, even more than before. The quiet vs. noisy explorations of The Pine are gone too, with Reaching Away they focus on typical nervous folk melody. Surprisingly the quieter and more pensive, introspective parts of The Pine have disappeared too. There is nothing that explores the direction of a beautiful song like "Face Drawings" here. Reaching Away clearly lacks of variation and if one or two songs can be nice and entertaining, a full album soon become tiring.


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