When one listens to instrumental music, he or she has room to think. This is exactly why you should listen to Red Sparowes' sophomore release, Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun. In today's music scene, an addition of thought-provoking musicianship is extremely refreshing.
Since 2003, this group of talented musicians has been creating far-from-succinct songs with far-from-succinct song titles. With track times averaging 7:46 on the band's second album, Red Sparowes is the polar opposite of Some Girls, Zombie Apocalypse, and An Albatross. Because the tracks are habitually lengthy, the record inherits a hard-to-describe atmospheric quality.
Red Sparowes' musicians are nothing short of accomplished; members of the band are comprised of such contemporary post-rock groups as Isis and Neurosis. Although Red Sparowes is easily placed in the same genre as the aforementioned groups, the band represents many unique qualities.
The use of pedal steel guitar is omnipresent throughout the band's recorded work; this instrument adds fluidity to their sound. Greg Burns' ability to manipulate the beautiful piece of resonance producing art is highlighted more on this album than the band's first LP, At the Soundless Dawn.
Track-to-track movement throughout the album is virtually perfect. Each song tends to reach a climax and build a ladder for itself to reach the base of the many-track-overlapping recording style. Instead of hearing song after song, one hears progression after progression. This is what makes Red Sparowes so easy to listen to.
Whether you're driving to pick up your little sister from cross country practice, causing your car windows to fog up with your girlfriend, or just relaxing and trying to sleep, this album is the perfect collection of vibrations that your ears will never seem to reject. Also, when you read song titles such as "Finally as That Blazing Sun Shone Down Upon Us Did We Know That True Enemy was the Voice of Blind Idolatry; And Only Then Did We Begin to Think for Ourselves" and "Annihilate the Sparrow, That Stealer of Seed, And Our Harvests Will Abound; We Will Watch Our Wealth Flood In," it's unnecessary to say that this super-group - and yes, you can call them that, even though I hate that term - has depth. Because the band is instrumental, the song titles act as lyrics, or guides, for each track.
When Red Sparowes create an album, they chose a topic, a general theme, to address. For At the Soundless Dawn, the group chose to produce an album reflecting the Sixth Extinction. Up to this point in time, the Earth has experienced five extinctions. These extinctions were caused by continental drift and climate change, and, 65 million years ago, an asteroid event which is said to have wiped out the dinosaurs. Presently, the Earth is undergoing a sixth extinction. Yes, a sixth extinction. Human produced substances and land development, along with many more attributing factors, are causing species to fall off the face of the earth. For Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun, the band focuses on the repercussions of disrupting the food chain.
During the years of 1959 and 1961, 30 million people died from a ubiquitous famine in China. The Chinese government issued a campaign, called The Great Sparrow Campaign, which ordered the elimination of sparrows and other pest-like creatures to save crops. Because of this ordinance, groups of sparrows were destroyed, crops flourished, but locusts, because the myriad sparrows did not eat them, swarmed the country.
It is evident that Red Sparowes know what they're talking about and what they're doing. If you're a fan of anything post-rock, or even just a fan of chilling out on the couch and simply enjoying an album, this will be on your top album list of 2006.
When Red Sparowes released At the Soundless Dawn, I began to better appreciate instrumental music. The sound that the band has made for themselves incorporates pedal steel guitar, wandering movements, ...
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