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Reynolds | Love Songs (Errol)
Had Reynolds formed on the hallowed post-rock ground of Chicago, they would no doubt by now be revered as one of the classiest exponents of the ill-monikered genre. Alas, they formed in Nottingham, and as such enjoy a considerably smaller global profile than many of their US counterparts, although they have enjoyed high-profile support slots alongside underground luminaries such as ...Trail of Dead and Les Savy Fav. If you were to take the very best offerings from Reynolds' UK peers - Econoline, Eska, Caretaker etc - and blend them together in a giant musical food processor, only stopping to sieve out any traces of vocals (Reynolds are now an instrumental outfit following the departure of vocalist Matt Tagney), you'd end up with something at least vaguely resembling 'Love Songs'. The rawness of Chris Summerlin's guitar is augmented gracefully into something altogether warmer by gentle interjections of cello and violin, courtesy of I Am Spartacus' Tianna Kennedy and Seachange's Jo Woodnutt. Second song Yunga is punctuated by a rasping improvised sax performance by Steve Sostak of Sweep The Leg Johnny, but it makes for one of the least impressive passages of music on the record. Although a little rough around the edges (certain songs are maybe just a little too long, and sound annoyingly improvised towards their endings), 'Love Songs' is an engrossing, beautifully sequenced, and often touching record that proves that music doesn't always need a literal voice to convey emotion. To be touched by a record isn't uncommon, but to be touched by a record made by a band that are, in the UK at least, untouchable themselves, is an extra special experience.

Mike Diver
March-April 2003