Pretend – Bones In the Soil, Rust In The Oil
At points immersive and engaging, at others meandering and seemingly oblivious to the need to hold a listener's attention, Pretend's début album is a triumph of musicianship, but could do with reigning in the noodling in favour of something to remember. Bones In The Soil... has a jazzy, freestyle feel, with most tracks sprawling out from their starting points in a wash of searching guitars and light, skittering drums. At times it's excellent; the title track and album highlight, 'Legs To Walk Us, To Drop Us' have a post-rock element that brings a little more dynamism to the fore, really bringing the band's talents to your attention. But too often ('Dream Shiver', we're looking at you) the guitar notes amble off in directions only of significance to the musician, making it hard to concentrate on the songs. The vocals have a weak tenderness to them, akin to Grandaddy's Jason Lytle at his softest, but without a clear musical structure behind them, they seem lost and irritatingly out of tune in places.
That's not to say the music is without structure, they clearly know what they're doing and certainly know their way around their instruments; but the jazzy nature of the music is such that it too often seems like you've wandered into their garage as they jam for an hour hoping to find the few moments they can craft into songs. Guitar nerds will likely have a beardgasm at the intricate way the album flows, but to anyone who isn't offended by the term 'casual listener', this will seem at best like a few moments of genius lost amidst a sea of rambling guitars.
- Two-Too High
- Bones In the Soil, Rust In The Oil
- Alive In The Tone
- Those Luminous Noises Are God
- Legs To Walk Us, To Drop Us
- Holy Destination
- Dream Shiver
- Guided Spirits – Guided Souls
- Spiral Born Black Into The Upwards Night