The Upshot: Returning after a 15-year silence, British guitarist-composer David Pearce serves up atmospheric swells, floating melodies and occasional swaths of noise—pure FSAness at that—not to mention some of the most inscrutable songtitles ever drafted.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
As billed, Instrumentals, Flying Saucer Attack’s eleventh album and first collection of new material in 15 years, consists of strictly wordless pieces. Fans of David Pearce’s longtime project know what to expect – guitar moods driven not by heroics but by atmospheric swells, floating melodies and occasional swaths of noise – and that’s exactly what Pearce delivers.
“Instrumental 2” undulates through sparse volume manipulations, while “Instrumental 3” conures shoegaze minus rhythm section and vocal melody. “Instrumental 4” recreates the sound of a Mellotron minus the actual instrument, while “Instrumental 6” represents a brief excursion into feedback hell. “Instrumental 9” pulls a tune out of amp-frying scree, while the gently melodic “Instrumental 11” covers its sweetness in fuzz. The languidly arpeggiated “Instrumental 10” would sound like something on ECM Records if not for the shuffling machinery in the background. The record climaxes with a pair of epics: the ambient, glitch-frosted “Instrumental 14” and the shimmering, 10-minute guitarfest “Instrumental 15,” which jangles and moans as required.
At over an hour, Instrumentals may try the patience of anyone not already acclimated to Pearce’s mood-driven vision. But fans who can’t get enough of his distinctive approach to composition and performance may find this record to be the purest expression of FSAness yet.
DOWNLOAD: “Instrumental 10” “Instrumental 4,” “Instrumental 15”