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Red Sparowes

Los Angeles' Red Sparowes are more than just a little influenced by The Cure--their atmospheric instrumental rock sounds like continuations of the swirling chorus-guitar songs on Disintegration. Each song title is a sentence, which combined, form an abstract paragraph describing a moment of apocalypse: "Alone and unaware, the landscape was transformed in front of our eyes" begins the record, and by the end, "The sixth extinction crept up slowly, like sunlight through the shutters, as we looked back in regret."

And so, from the beginning, the music is dense, dark and focused on emotional dynamics, starting slow and erupting into despair. One song blends into the next, gradually creating an aural picture of a terrible sort of dawn, one that occurs both slowly and quickly, with the progression of destruction over a long period of time canned in one moment.

This is heavy stuff: One cannot listen to At the Soundless Dawn with one's whole attention unless one wants to be lulled into a depressive trance, or one is already in some sort of chemically induced depressive trance. That being said, At the Soundless Dawn is gorgeous in texture and musical imagination. The record succeeds in evoking the feelings it seeks to evoke, not just through the text of the song titles but through the music itself as well; guitar effects drive the compositions more than melody or rhythm or structure. At the Soundless Dawn is not so much a collection of individual songs as it is an album-length musical paragraph: one cohesive structure that focuses on one main idea.

More by Annie Holub

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