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Bright, "Bells Break Their Towers"

Like label-mates Landing, Bright dish out melodic tracks rooted in '70s prog rock, but with a distinctively modern feel and looks ahead as much as it looks to the past. With its heavy repetition and psychedelic feel, it's also an eight-song spiritual journey.

Strange Attractors

"Manifest Harmony" in particular feels like a ritualistic incantation with circling and heavily patterned music and vocals. It's easy to imagine vocalist Mark Dwinell performing shamanic rites in the empty desert landscape shown in the album's artwork. Throughout the album Dwinell's almost-chanted lyrics are invocations atop the layers of chunky guitars. Many tracks sound like an arcane ceremony overheard through an open window. But the music isn't at all quiet and hymnal; this ain't Enya. The electric guitars continually make themselves known and they open "It's What I Need" with a snarl.

The album is laced with a distinct Eastern influence, though there aren't any actual sitars, the guitars effectively mimic their delicate sound. Ringing chimes in "Flood" reinforce the east-meets-west feeling.

The album feels so methodic and deliberate, that I was surprised to learn that Bright generally improvise in the studio. But that also adds to the overall spiritual feeling...instead of improvising, it feels more like Bright was channeling.

sound samples:
 

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Review of the Day

BOY IN STATIC, "NEWBORN"
Towards the end of last year, Boston-area singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Chen released his impressive debut disc, Newborn, under the guise of Boy In Static. An interesting note on this disc is that Germany's Notwist had decided to release it on their fairly new Alien Transistor label, essentially getting Boy in Static in on its ground floor. From strummed and plucked guitar progressions and voice, Chen magnifies the depth of his songs by saddling them up with laptop-inspired clicks and wave/signal manipulation, bass, cello and tasteful keyboard melodies, blurring the lines between pop and electronic-based music.
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