The Soundcarriers - Harmonium

Richard Wink 15/06/2009

Rating: 2/5

You won't understand this music maaaaaaaan. This music is too deep, rooted in a spaced out groove. I can see what they're going for, that Cocteau Twins / My Bloody Valentine approach to indecipherable vocals; the if we cannot comprehend what they are saying then it must be jolly deep approach.

As architects of sound The Soundcarriers build dense layers, combining a multitude of influences ranging from Krautrock to free jazz and surprisingly Bollywood. Harmonium is one long jam, reminding me of Mars Volta at their most tiresome; everything merges together without even a change in tempo.

It would be fair to label this as background music, perfect for a dinner party. You don't really need to take it in, because it runs and runs allowing you to dip in at any time. I find the mellowness of this album off putting, there is no urgency, and significantly there is also no depth. This album is pseudo-progressive and pseudo-psychedelic and really of no value whatsoever.

In order not to completely slam The Soundcarriers I will applaud their competency as musicians. However despite displaying proficiency there is more then a faint accusatory whiff about them that suggests The Soundcarriers are nothing more then former pretentious music students who decided to form a band after listening to Bitches Brew and Ege Bamyasi.

The addition of vocalist Leonore Wheatley is a splendid touch even though you can't really understand what she's singing about, it is fair to say without her inclusion this album would be unlistenable. Catching The Soundcarriers in the flesh might well be a far more exciting proposition then suffering through the seemingly endless minutes of this album.