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  • Archives
     

    Westerhus, Stian & Pale Horses – “Maelstrom” – [Rune Grammofon]

    sw_pale_maelstrom
    So I think there is room between the raw punk, the revived garage/surf,
    the crackling chaos of noise and other KFJC favorites for a crafted, dare
    I say well produced, album of tuneful rock ballads. Granted this release
    comes with the Rune Grammofon imprint, and guitarist Stian Westerhus has
    wailed away on other deviant disks. Here his guitar adds subtle tweakery,
    but his creamy dreamy croon is more at the forefront. Along for the ride
    his Palo Horses are Oystein Moen (of Jaga Jazzist who delivers an
    orchestra of keyboards) and drummer Erland Dahlen. Trying to slide this
    in next to Scott Walker’s recent work is a stretch, but maybe fans of
    Talk Talk, Kate Bush and/or ELP might catch on. The pace on the tracks
    is slow, and Moen’s keyboards have a definite air of pomp (and I can
    only hope all three play live in robes, not just torn jeans and
    t-shirts). Amidst the banks of keys, please set your ear detectors
    on mellotron, that flawed and wavering but often favored sound for
    many of us. Big hanging bass pedals step through. No song exceeds
    10 minutes, but the word “opus” will arise at times. “Bed on Fire”
    allows Stian a section of pyrotechnics but check the modern chorale
    finish. “On and On” might have washed up on the shores of Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon.” So yeah in a way this has a commercial feel, but 30 years
    ag there *were* some enjoyable albums on big labels. I can see why
    some KFJC’ers might blanch at this, but on second (and third) listen
    I enjoyed this more and more, is that my senescence or this record’s
    excellence? -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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