Monday, June 22, 2009

Balmorhea – All is Wild, All is Silent

As on last year’s Rivers Arms this Austin outfit prospects what is possible with a classical left hand married to a folk/rock right. This new album wanders inland from the riverside until it reaches a point in the desert’s dusty eminence. “Settler” heads the charge with a “wagons ho” gallop showing off the dynamic interplay of guitar, violin, cello, bass and piano. A wordless vocal and counterpoint chorus of handclaps makes it impossible not to smile along. Even quieter moments, like on “Remembrance” and “Night in the Draw” with it open range banjo, eventually open up into sky filling exuberance. Jesy Fortino of the criminally overlooked Tiny Vipers makes an appearance on “November 1, 1832,” lending a haunted vocal to a simple piano theme. As with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ film soundtracks, Balmorhea manage to describe and compliment the western landscape without employing shopworn Morricone-isms. Let them run wild through the night.

Western Vinyl

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