First Look: New Talkdemonic Album

 

Due Oct. 4 from
Glacial Pace, “Ruins” finds the duo stretching out.

 

By Jennifer Kelly

(Glacial Pace)

 

www.glacialpace.com

 

Portland’s
Talkdemonic stretches out on this fourth full-length, extending its
electro-chamber-sonics into epic landscapes of drone, melody and dissonance.  Kevin O’Connor has sublimated his fascination
with glitchy hip hop beats here, subsuming the rhythmic element of the band’s
aesthetic into luxuriant swathes of string and synth sounds. Lisa Molinaro is
the primary “voice” in this all-instrumental band, injecting bursts of
tuneful-ness via pedal-effected viola (and sometimes cello). O’Connor builds
intricate textures in percussion, guitar, keyboards and synthesizer around her,
sometimes emphasizing  pastoral serenity,
in others conjuring the storm and roil of post-metal bands like Red Sparrowes
or Pelican.

 

The duo have, in the past, favored brevity, but here play
with duration, volume and discord in the monumental “City Sleeps. Here
swooping, swooning layers of distorted viola sustain over an urgent
clip-clopping drum rhythm and sudden angst-stricken bursts of electric guitar. “Midnight Pass” ventures even further into
Hendrix-y manipulations of Molinaro’s viola sound, sculpting bowed tones into
towering cumulus clouds of dissonant sound. “Revival,” the first single, is
downright calming by contrast, couched in bright thickets of acoustic guitar
strumming and a steady, multi-toned cadence of drums. Here, as elsewhere, the
wildest, most unexpected impact comes from the viola parts, which run like a
river, now sweet and bubbling with sunny warmth, now roaring over tumultuous
rapids. The rock instruments – drums, keyboards and guitar – set the framework,
but it’s the chamber music instrument that blows the doors down.

 

 

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