STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Our Moon Is Full (Central Control)


Posted on Oct 25th 2007 12:13 am

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Strings Of Consciousness: Our Moon Is Full

Our Moon Is Full
CCI 005
Central Control 2007
08 Tracks. 49mins25secs

Rock flirtations with experimental music can be some very risky territory. On the plus side, you can end up with sublime fusions of the traditional and the avant garde; on the other hand, there’s the wankery that eventually drowned seventies prog. Several groups in this decade have given the concept another go, and Our Moon Is Full, the new album from psychedelic collective Strings Of Consciousness, is a thoroughly engaging look at the potential of this merger.

First, a word of caution: this is a record steeped in post rock, featuring, on the majority of the tracks, spoken word rather than singing. It’s a pretentious proposition, but one that works out the majority of the time. As the centerpiece (and, hands-down, best composition) of the album, While The Sun Burns Out Another Sun features a radiant, morning-dazed backdrop of chimes and glissandi, over which Parisian poet, and erstwhile Black Dog collaborator, Black Sifichi, exhales nervous existential observations. It’s the apex of the album, and certainly one of the most lush and engaging pieces of music released this year.

Strings Of Consciousness have two important skills on display here – erecting an aural atmosphere, and perfectly synthesizing with the vocal performances. The steadily blossoming feedback and found noise overtaking Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness aptly complements Eugene Robinson’s resigned, paranoid tale of an attempted, premeditated murder, stopped short at the last minute. What begins as a session of free jazz tropes in preparation, evolves into a fiery storm of guitars and noise, dropping out again to a reserved tension as Robinson solemnly yells out “There was treachery / And there was lechery / And then there was remorseless activity.” Strings Of Consciousness know exactly how to get a listener’s heart pumping, a valuable talent in a genre like psychedelic post rock, often better known for its meandering effluvia.

If there’s a serious criticism to level at Our Moon Is Full, it is lacking in variety of song structure. Every piece features some sort of heavy lyrics dwelling on life, love, death, or a combination of the above, while Strings gradually crescendo to a climax which, unfortunately, becomes less and less stimulating each time it happens. When compared to the stunning heights found elsewhere, the angst-ridden vocal delivery from Girls Against Boys’ Scott McCloud on Crystallize It sounds a bit weary.

Still, even if Strings are sticking to a formula, it iss not a bad one, and it does a more than adequate job of sustaining listener interest. These are the kind of pieces that would sound wonderful on the radio or in a live setting – there’s a particular, spontaneous atmosphere about the album, a thrilling awareness that this is raw and real, and definitely not reserved. Production-wise, effects lean toward maximizing the timbres, and sounds are very rarely truncated or buried, in a counterpart to the naked nature of the lyrics.

Musically, lyrically, and thematically, Our Moon Is Full comes to a fitting close with Midnight Moonbeams. Sifichi once again takes the mic, relating a story of memory and his dying father, and the universal emotional connection caused by the shining of moonbeams. Our Moon Is Full produces a similar effect on the listener, as Strings Of Consciousness don’t hold anything back, but rather embark on a series of art-inflected risks, resulting in a transcendent confluence of sound and emotion.


Strings Of Consciousness | Central Control International
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2 Responses to “STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Our Moon Is Full (Central Control)”

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