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Various Artists | Will Our Children Thank Us (Foundry)
Fledgling label Foundry Recordings' first full-length is a superbly sequenced summation of all things p-p-p-post-rock in 1999, its multi-layered, multi-coloured palette casually ignoring the limited canvas that term implies. Appliance open the record with Throwing a Curve Ball reminding us (via a guitar tone to make Metallica proud) that there is room for humour within this most snooty of genres. The melodic funk of Billy Mahonie's Glenda make it eminently danceable, our friends Electric Sound of Joy turn in the playful three minute pop that is Fonk whilst The Wisdom of Harry's Close Frank Falling takes the Tortoise trademark bass-riff/vintage keyboard axis and plots a rhythmic stroll topped with the first of a trio of lazy vocals, Novak's acoustic Peggy's Well falling between it and the album's centrepiece â?? the imposing Biggest Lie by Piano Magic. From a Dean Wareham meets Lloyd Cole delivery atop a rolling guitar motif via the brooding backward middle section to the closing two minutes of reverb swamped controlled feedback and spaced-out synths; it's a magnificent mini-epic. Sadly the electronic indulgence of Isan and Rothko's nine-minute experiment demand a little too much patience, reminding me of many a teenage night spent with Tangerine Dream, but State River Widening's light-hearted Moriko Mori Shoots The Make-Believe Ballroom redresses the balance, its three and a half minute marriage of infectious melody and synthetic texture a sweet synopsis bookending a cohesive, eclectic assortment. Absorbing stuff.
CWAS #4 - Winter 1998/9 - The Lost Issue