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(58 min, 'Tin Scribble')
TRACK LIST: 1. Entervallum 1:05 2. Vox Populi Vox Dei 1:13 3. Vox de Morte 3:37 4. Bleak 0:37 5. Intervallum 5:30 6. Breakable 1:07 7. Listen 6:42 8. Wake 5:49 9. Things Left Over 6:39 10. Throwing It All Away 5:25 11. Saturn's Sun 3:01 12. Separate Silence 3:13 13. Separate Silence II 4:53 14. Schwa 2:33 15. For a While 7:37 All tracks: by Moore or Moore/Tin Scribble, except 13: Sabon. Produced by Tin Scribble. LINEUP: Michael Moore - vocals; electric & acoustic guitars Mark Jardine - bass Clinton Sabon - drums & percussion Bryan Atterberry - electric guitar; harp; synthesizer Colin Cameron - piano; flute; backing vocals
Prolusion. In the late '90s, there was a very promising Art-Rock band in the American state of Michigan, House of Usher, which is already defunct, to all appearances. I am not quite certain whether it would be correct to say that TIN SCRIBBLE aroused from the ashes of that band, but the lineup on the first Tin Scribble album, "Children of Saturn" (digipack), features two former members of House of Usher: guitarist / vocalist Michael Moore and bassist Mark Jardine.
Analysis. Moore, who penned precisely half of the material for the only House Of Usher album, "Body of Mind", appears as a primary composer and lyricist on "Children of Saturn". It wouldn't be enough just to note that Michael's songwriting has undertaken changes over the years that separate his earlier works from the new ones. With a few exceptions, concerning exclusively brief pieces, Tin Scribble's principal musical interests lie far from the traditional symphonic Art-Rock areas. The band included some points of comparison in the CD press kit, but I don't desire to repeat them, as the music is exceptionally original; at least, it doesn't remind me of anything. I'd better go my favorite path and describe the album from a stylistic and structural perspective. The 58-minute "Children of Saturn" features fifteen tracks, five of which are less than 3 minutes in duration. These are: Entervallum, Bleak, Vox Populi Vox Dei, Breakable and Schwa and are either acoustic guitar- or keyboard-based pieces, Breakable being the only featuring a vocal line. The first two are just sketches. Being overloaded with colloquial effects, they bear little sensual load, while the other three are full-fledged and, what's central, truly interesting compositions, regardless of their shortness. Separate Silence was also performed without drums. It has a distinct oriental sense, the picture reminding me of a muezzin (Moslem priest) praying somewhere in the desert, though the lyrical content is different, of course. On Vox de Morte, Wake, Separate Silence II, Intervallum and Listen the music moves back and forth between Doom/Cathedral Metal and a kind of Gothic Art-Rock, the latter two revealing also elements of Indian music, with the acoustic guitar and harp sounding much like Sitar in places. The band one more time appeals to oriental tunes in future - on the closing number, For a While, though overall, the music belongs to the same angle as the remaining three songs: Things Left Over, Throwing It All Away and Saturn's Sun, following each other some below the album's equator. Each is for the most part quieter than those done in the primary style, with plenty of acoustic and semi-acoustic guitar passages interwoven with basic textures and developing separately as well. Throwing It All Away has a beautiful piano prelude. Finally, here is probably the most essential observation: most of the music has a fairytale feel to it and is amazingly imaginative.
Conclusion. Tin Scribble's success is due not only to their technical prowess, but also (and in large part) to their good taste to know when delicacy is more important than energy and vice versa. Although different, their "Children of Saturn" is every bit as good as "Body of Mind" by House Of Usher. Sincerely recommended. Top-20-2005
VM: October 5, 2005
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