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Swirling Noise And Sing-along

The Death Of Quickspace

This, the newest album by Quickspace (and the first one ever released concurrently in the United States and the UK) finds the group starting out on unsure footing. After a quick opening blast on "The Lobbalong Song," the volume fades out to absolutely nothing before it fades back in just the same amount of time and the song leaps along. It's unneccesary, but several things on the album are, and the group isn't going to hide that fact.

Trying to define the band straight-away is a rather difficult task, as they've taken bits from several different styles and sort of made them there own on this release. It's higher-speed, spaced-out pop music with squealing guitars and other strange instruments, minus a typical verse-chorus-verse format of songwriting. Because of all that, the album is fast and loose and feels more like a tight jam session than anything else, giving it a playful quality and sort of an inherent catchiness (although it's nothing that I can quite put my finger on).

Besides the aforementioned strange start to the first track, it also contains some heavily-distorted female vocals by Nina Pascale, and a driving pace accentuated by some subtle keyboards and bird noises (yes, bird noises). About halfway through, the vocals simply start looping and the group turns the feedback up on the guitars, creating a swirling mire of sound. "They Shoot Horse Don't They" starts out in a rather unsuspecting manner as well, with a nice little rhythm groove of drum and bass before some jangling guitars, vocals (this time by To Cullinan) and a touch of theremin make there way into the mix. Like the first track, though, they eventually build things up into a righteous noise, with dual vocals, thick guitars, and a cranked theremin that actually begins to sound like another voice.

The group drags things out on the nearly 11-minute "Climbing a Hill," and it's a nice, slowly progressing that shows they can pull a mid-tempo groove as well. Quite possibly the best song on the album is the extended pop-song of "Gloriana." Running six minutes, the track starts as a quiet sing-along before a gradual build into the end frenzy of guitar, theremin, and keyboard squiggles. Another notable track is the very excellent "A Rose," where they bring some strings (and the bird noises again) into the mix for another mid-tempo winner. The album closes out with a thirty-second blast of punk rock noise simply entitled "4" that mainly serves as something to program out while listening to the release. While it's not long enough to really annoy, it is grating enough to make you wish they'd left it off.

As it stands, The Death Of Quickspace is one of those great albums that is excellent to sing along with, but is also on the slightly noisy side. Perfect for turning heads as you sing along with it with your windows down in the summer. You don't even have to worry about whether you're in tune, as you just become another part of the nicely directed cacophony.

Rating: 7.25