Thursday, November 18, 2010

Album review - Halves "It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever)"

'It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever)'

TO SIMPLY label this album from Dublin trio Halves as “cinematic” would be vaguely correct, but simplistic.
While the superb opening track Land/Sea/People might indeed be at home on a Cameron Crowe or Nick Cave soundtrack, the sheer depth and variety on this album makes it too difficult to pigeon-hole into one genre.
Indeed, it would also be simplistic to simply class this highly-awaited debut album from the band as “post-rock”, but there are undoubted elements of this multi-faceted genre on what is a genuinely haunting and spine-tingling album.
The scale of the instrumentalism - deep, dark drums, soaring guitars, bouncy melodions, rich and vibrant cellos and haunting violins - present on this album is astounding, while the pacing and narrative structure are adhered to cleverly without becoming overly rigid.
This is a brooding, grandiose and epic album, but unlike the raucous noise of the undoubted influence of Scottish post-rock specialists Mogwai, there are also tender, heartbreaking vocals on It Goes, It Goes, some from vocalist Tim Czerniak and some from the haunting Amy Millan (of Stars fame) on the superb I Raise Bears and the criminally underrated Katie Kim on the unfolding rhythm of Growing & Glow.
With this release, recorded live on tape in Montreal’s Hotel2Tango studios, the Dublin trio (Brian Cash, Tim and Elis Czerniak) end a five year wait for their debut album, preceded as it was by two well received EPs.
Halves live show has long been lauded, correctly, for being a dramatic mix of sweeping visuals, guitars and live drums, but on this record they have managed the seemingly impossible; an ability to conjure up a sweeping visual vista in the listener’s mind, simply by allowing the strength and epic nature of their music to spark the imagination.
Quite simply, a brilliant record, made to be listened to again and again.

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