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Jealousy And Diamond

Autistic Daughters
Jealousy And Diamond

Dean Roberts has had a hand in the creation of almost an album a year for the past several. His unique early vision of "rock" music cracked it apart and left the pieces dangling in the air like battered windchimes, and while his experiments weren't always successful, they did create an interesting universe. Managing to get a little better with each release that he puts out, last years Be Mine Tonight was a major step up in structure and songwriting and his newest project of Autistic Daughters trumps that.

One of the things that I always found a bit frustrating with the early work of Roberts was that he was so great at building tension, yet rarely released it. His albums became claustrophobic and even uncomfortable, and while Jealousy And Diamond can hardly be called a straightforward rock album, the full band lineup has obviously allowed Roberts the ability to really let loose in places. "A Boxful Of Birds" opens the disc and it's a perfect example, simmering along with quiet percussion, whispered vocals, and soft strums of guitars before rambling through an almost jazzy section and finally bursting. "Florence Crown, Last Replay" takes the slow-burn and pushed it to an extreme, traversing sparse guitars and sharp snare hits while Roberts again adds breathy vocals that spill out like stream of consciousness.

"Spend It On The Enemy (While It Was Raining)" again raises the volume level and it's a welcome change after a string of quieter tracks. The group slowly stirs the track with quick cymbal punctuations, waves of guitars, and bass snaps before the whole thing lurches into a heady fever-dream of stomping noise that releases itself like someone purging their inner demons. The drawn-out album-titled closer of "Jealousy And Diamond" mixes harmonium and vibraphone into the core trio of sounds and the result is something like Talk Talk if you injected them with some serious narcotics. Although I've mentioned several genres above, this is a release that just sort of floats in the ether between jazz and rock and drone and someting else. It's also the release in which Roberts seems to have found the perfect outlet for his songs of despair.

Rating: 7.5