Saturday, October 16, 2010

Venus Magazine review

Cloudland Canyon’s Kip Uhlhorn can wail out distorted melodies as well as Kevin Shields, but it’s his ability to layer complex, disparate melodies into songs that are at once disorienting and soothing that really makes the band’s third LP, Fin Eaves, shine. For the better part of the last decade, Cloudland Canyon was the brainchild of Uhlhorn and Simon Wojan, a repository for their experimental curiosities that fell outside of the scope of their day jobs (Red Scare and King Khan & the Shrines, respectively). Wojan’s departure to focus on King Khan full time and the addition of Uhlhorn’s wife, Kelly Winkler, and collaborator Aaron Worcester have pushed Cloudland Canyon’s sound into a fuller, richer dimension of sound only skirted by Uhlhorn and Wojan’s first two full-lengths.

Fin Eaves emanates otherworldly light, as if originally manifested as a gift from extraterrestrial forces. The songs are paired so deliberately and so well, it must be stated that the standout “track” on Fin Eaves consists of two halves: “Gracious Hearts” is a sweeping anthem that becomes a heartfelt march before it segues seamlessly into “Mothlight Pt. 2.” A shimmering jam that anchors the range of sounds throughout the album, “Mothlight Pt. 2” offers percussive shakes and pulsations, longing guitar, growling bass, snaking synthesizer, fuzzed-out vocals, and the sensation of grasping at blinding light, spinning in orbit as you tumble towards the horizon.

Will this be the album that pushes Cloudland Canyon further into the spotlight? Those listening to Fin Eaves will not need that forceful nudge—rather, they can choose to take that emboldened step into the prismatic light, basking in the warmth of individually austere sounds made collectively explosive.

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