ABSINTHE BLIND: |
"Music for Security" Hammerhead Records (July 20, 2000.)
It's said in order to compensate for their loss of vision, the blind have a finely tuned sense for all things audio. Absinthe blind is no exception, delivering twisting curtains of guitar, bass and vocal melodies even the most polished set of ears could spend hours digging through with ever growing bored. Crafted with absolute care for its every detail, Music for Security panders to hordes of audiophiles craving a voyeuristic peek and poke through the depths of a band's workings; with layer upon layer to peel through, Absinthe Blind performs an aural striptease sure to make even the most discerning record nut drool with lust. Best at building up waves of sound to crashing, almost overwhelming, depths, Absinthe Blind's ornate arrangements beg for dissection. From "Don't Lose the Image," featuring breathy lead vocals tumbling as if on ether over peals of warm bass tones and wraithlike guitar figures, to "Sandpaper Sound," taming an Oasis-like guitar riff with a firmly cracked whip of carefully placed acoustic picking, Absinthe Blind's tunes shift through moods with ease. Though the songs frequently take a while to unfold-too long at times, as witnessed on "Giving Up the Crown" - they unravel so smoothly as to make their development akin to watching a flower sprout, grow, bloom and wither over the course of the summer. Though the band indulges in more than its share of instrumental playfulness, it avoids the experimental and self-righteous wankery of many bands devoted to the pursuit of the ultimate rock song. With a few exceptions, such as the instrumental "No Sound," Absinthe Blind's work dodges the pretense frequently associated with richly textured uber-pop. While the band makes the depths of its arrangements work for them, it's simply out of necessity rather than self-congratulatory musical masturbation. There'd be no Absinthe Blind without the swirling depths of its elaborate pop; simplicity isn't within the band's scope. Though at times slow-moving and a smidgen too introspective, Absinthe Blind's set puts the polish on a difficult region of pop to master. More contemplative and reserved than typical pop, the band's songs should grow for anyone with the time and patience to nurture them.