Monday, 9 August 2010

Lower Dens - Twin-Hand Movement (Gnomonsong)

Twin-Hand Movement’ is an amorphous album; at once exciting yet serene, precise yet loose. All in all it’s a hypnotic affair that lures you in with its gloomy, bass-heavy swagger and leads you around for the next 40 minutes through dark caverns of darkly psychedelic and uneasily calming rock. It’s easy to get lost, several of the songs are purely instrumental and the simplistic drumming can lull you into a daze whilst the guitars snake around you rapturously.

When singer Jana Hunter is present she guides the way, though oh so faintly, melding her voice into the music. The most accessible and catchy song on here is “Tea Lights” whose chorus promises a candle lit scene, but what the light falls on could be anything from a romantic dinner between two lovers or an act of devil worship from darkly veiled subjects. What this song will conjure up for you is purely down to where you let your mind wander as you listen, and it could be something completely different each time. This is true of the majority of the album, and you will find that you enjoy this album the most if you listen without any distractions, letting yourself be immersed. If you don’t do this, and allow it to just be background music whilst you perform something else you will undoubtedly come to find the album monotonous by the second half, having not been wise to the subtleties that make each song stand out and this album as a whole a pleasure to listen to.

There are plenty of influences that can be pinpointed throughout the album from the dark, relaxing tones that smack of ‘And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out’-era Yo La Tengo to the more frenetic, vivid ones that could be linked one of several psychedelic bands of decades past. Combined together though this album has a voice of its own, a dark beauty like a black flower that’s yearning to be discovered by anyone daring to give it a listen.

Words : Rob Hakimian

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