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The Aislers Set | The Last Match (Slumberland)
Phase problems notwithstanding, The Aislers Set's sophomore release is a more-sophisticated-than-you-would-think co-option of mid-60s garage-band primitivism, Phil Spector styled sonic impressionism and early-90s noise‚??pop (a la Black Tambourine - themselves being 60s throwbacks). The key to The Aislers' sound is the combination of 12-string electric guitar with Farfisa. Or rather, does the band's success derive from the reverb-drenched "wall of sound," a stylistic necessity inevitably furthered by the fact that the Aislers' studio space is no larger than an Abbey Road echo chamber? Whatever the cause, the band's revisitation of several of the 60s' signature sounds is undoubtedly accented (possibly trumped?) by lead singer/songwriter Amy Linton's passive-yet-present deadpan lilt, a voice deserving of greater presence within these songs. Nearly the whole of the Set's material is held back somewhat by the group's desire to make noise, an understandable craving given the nature of the Aislers sound, but one which undermines the bliss of Linton's, and songwriter Wyatt's, highly melodic compositions. This is a band whose material deserves a sustained and particular level of production, one which reigns in its aggressive tendencies and furthers the complimentary actions of voice and instruments. Though not perfect, The Last Match is well worth skipping a meal or two for (Hit The Snow is one of my top ten 'singles' for the year).
G. C. Weeks
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001