Califone - Heron King Blues

Alex Worsnip 26/01/2004

Rating: 3/5

Califone are a US indie band who make music somewhere between the indie jam session ethos, sweet alt-country and luscious post-rock. Tracks like opener 'Wingbone' are more conventional, folky, acoustic ballads, while those like 'Trick Bird' juggle more disparate sounds, with weird beats, flickering guitars and thick atmospherics underpinning a sinister yet restrained sound, incredibly well-produced. Sometimes the album drifts into background-music status, but it usually has an attention-holding collage of sounds floating around, if somewhat unfocusedly at times. The standout, though, is the excellent '2 Sisters Drunk On Each Other', which features a funky wah-wah guitar over its template, adding real colour and interest to its psychadelic textures, which build, ebb and flow through the song. The title track is an epic quasi-instrumental. These are really original sounds here, especially when it gets noisy, but it just ocassionally lacks the focus and clarity between songs to be essential. An underground record well-worth investigation, though.