Thursday, February 14, 2013

... TRAVELING CIRCLE "Escape From Black Cloud"

Motley sounds from Brooklyn ... If there is one city you really don't know what to expect from musically, it's probably New York, and with Travelling Circle, what you get is plain Psychedelic Rock that harks back to the early days of the movements with a distinctly dark tinge.

What strikes you immediately about this band is there sense of melody where others cover their songwriting deficiencies with a lot of fuzz and half-baked quotations of their heroes. "Higher", the opener of the group's second album, may seem like an introduction as far as its structure is concerned, but keeps tantalising the listener with its vocal melody. Frontman Dylan at times whispers in higher registers, as heard in the eerie "Candlelight Sways" and "Newborn Shadow", which in their sparse length of three minutes each (hardly any song is much longer than four, with just the gurgling, brooding "Willow Tree Fair" clocking in at five) tell everything they need: lyrics which provoke rich associations yet don't betray any concrete message on top of an airy, minimalistic fundament.

There's also tunes of the more stomping category though, for example the instrumental "Green Spider", but even so, it doesn't make you freak out or anything. This is probably what you should only when listening to "Rock This Feeling", the most ... well, let's say graspable of these ten flighty pieces alongside its bass-drenched successor "Fountain Of Time". The last two compositions, "Conduit Is Closing" and "Tears From The Soul", are practically instrumentals as well, with Dylan breathing indiscernible syllables, which is likely to be intentional: the voice as an additional instrument instead of shoving down clichéd regurgitations of whatever garage band of yore down your throat.
All in all, "Escape From Black Cloud" is a nice addition to your collection if you prefer the unassuming, even naive type of retrospective into the innocent times of, indeed, sex, drugs and not so much rolling but drifting rock music. For reference, let's mention Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as Los Angeles' Heavy Water Experiments, which are a bit beefier, though.

words by Andreas Schiffmann

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