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Garden Box

Garden Box
(Poeta Negra)

Like many artists, Garden Box got together and simply started making music. They recorded and recorded and tried a lot of new things and different styles and put out a very few limited releases, but basically just incubated and worked on music, waiting for the right time to release. 6 years after they officially started laying things down, Garden Box is releasing their debut album, and as a document of change and development it's an interesting one.

Although it doesn't always make for a smooth listen, this 12 track disc finds the group moving through a wide swath of genres, mixing electronic and organic instrumentation into 50 minutes of music that still makes things seem like a work in progress. In addition to trying out different styles on the release, the album itself is split into shorter pieces that bridge the spaces between songs and longer, more developed pieces. Despite this, there are still some pretty dramatic shifts, as the beginning part of the album starts out with almost dancey sounds on "Gravity" as manipulated melodies and all kinds of glitchy filtered electronics rain down over a thumping 4/4 beat. "Sick Of Everything" continues in a similar style, opening with almost electro sounding lo-fi beat programming before layering the whole track in a gorgeous wash of fuzzy guitars (M83 style) and swarming masses of squishy electronic beats.

The shift arrives on "You Can't Hurt It," as the group drops things off to something that sounds similar to an early Hood track, mixing dour slowcore with a slight touch of electronics. "The Grief Of Sadness" takes things to an even further, mixing horns and multiple layers of guitars in with programmed/live rhythms for a track that goes on for simply way too long (although fans of earlier Mogwai work will probably love the ending meltdown). The album closes out with "Chokin'," and although it's nice enough, it sounds completely out-of-place on the release, mixing female vocals front and center for something that feels like a poppier Cocteau Twins. While there are some great tracks and moments on the release, hopefully the group can find a way to pull together their more disparate moments into something a little more cohesive.

Rating: 6