Saturday, February 28, 2009

Century Plants - Circular Spaces Volume 1 (C)

There’s a sort of chaotic beauty to this album that defies characterization. It starts off as a sort of psychedelic, earthy, tonal painting full of lively and bright colors. Aptly titled “Back Into the Bloom” the piece feels very warm, filled with cascading guitar licks. The following track is very similar, but instead takes on a more somber stance. The guitars trade thoughts throughout the track in a way that brings memories of the beach before a storm. Calm, a persistent breeze, waves crashing against the rocks. The final piece is very different from the other two. This piece is nearly indecipherable as far as any given instrument involved, and boiled down to various dissonances, some mysterious noises, and a very uncomfortable buzzing sound. The juxtaposition with the previous two pieces really makes it quite unnerving, and adds a lot to the emotion of the piece which only manages to climb and fall in an abstract way that forces you to sit and think. As the album roars to a near-deafening close, you finally start to realize the breadth of what you’ve just listened to. I, even after having seen Century Plants twice, am astounded by their flexibility. Each time I saw them live, they played something entirely new, and this proves that on record they can remain incredibly innovative and keep the magic and energy alive – a feat hard for most bands.

Highlights: “Back Into the Bloom"

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