Dust on the breakers "American Reclamation" (Rainboot, 2010)
All enveloping spectral Gothic Americana
An elegant decay hangs over American Reclamation, like a dying sun sending glimmers of blood red light shooting through half drawn curtains in some forgotten city apartment and glancing off a gilt framed mirror. The light is scattered and somehow those energetic photons cause the dust of ages to lift slightly and reveal the rich velvet covers of the chairs, the clear crystal of the chandelier, and the long forgotten half burnt letters whose brittle remains still lie upon the grate.
"Charred Metropolis" sends these thoughts drifting through the mind as it evokes a decayed and falling city, the scene of an eternal battle for freedom. A metaphorical casting out of heaven is all that awaits those who try to convert their naive aspirations into real experiences as the glittering city of dreams tumbles around them. All this to a lush soundtrack, at the same time low key and vibrant with musical depth.
It is everyday ennui that initiates "Frontiers" - "when you no longer want/to punch the clock/and it's every day/every day" - but it melds into an undead plea to be released from the endless sepulchre. "When our bodies are over run with dust/would you come back/to release one of us" twin gothic voices intone in a thrillingly chilling endless coda over hypnotic layers of percussion. Just a gorgeous song.
Respite from gothic gloom is offered by "Summer Rainstorms" a bright sparkling dream of a song which lifts higher and higher, a vibrant duet between Jeff Linsenmair and Anna Slade, punctuated by golden blasts of brass. It's two lovers running wild and uncontrollable in a rainstorm, oblivious to anything but the heightened sensations sparking between them. A sensuous sliver of pure mercury - perfectly shiny and untouchable.
It is a mystery as to why "Quiet please" and "Quiet please redux" are listed as separate songs, after one hearing it is impossible to imagine listening to one without it's sibling. A dark curtain is falling, small bells ring in ruined cathedrals, candles are lit and there is deep mourning - there was love and now that is over, the treaties are broken, and simmering tension could break out into open war at any moment. Long, agonising and swooping, but there is hope offered in the ghostly landscape of "Quiet Please Redux" as the refrain "you will see, we'll come again" is breathed gently over stabbing icicles of piano. Maybe, but it looks like being a long winter.
It's noteworthy that Dust On The Breakers is the side project of members of The Czars, d.biddle and Crooked Fingers, with additional help from musicians from Devotchka, The Fray, Meese, and Hello Kavita. Lets hope they find time for more side work.
Date review added: Friday, September 17, 2010
Reviewer: Jonathan Aird
Related web link: Where the dust lies heavy