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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nick Duane - Before The Storm review

Year : 2012
Genre : Ambient Soft Rock / Synthpop / Atmospheric
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Official site : > - here - <

Nick Duane comes forth with a release armed with a rather unorthodox and brave character, considering the abundant directions the delivery is fervent, persistent and efficient at exploring. The most frequently applied pace of the flow shows keen interest in delivering ornamented still-life music AND delivering much of it, yet the one thing that utterly and completely saves this spin from any kind or promise of motionlessness in a valiant and natural manner, is the simple and precious fact that Nick Duane sounds to be serious about this style-, about this shape of music. The richly detailed harmonic and ornamental fabrics oftentimes yield results that are pretty delicious to be immersed in when things looking synthpop, - Yello's Boris Blank would be happy to hear those moments - and the other key interest the disc is enthusiastic to go after, is the soft rock side of David Bowie. Sometimes, the cover art of an album is a superb representation of the "daaaaayuuuummmn" music, and, thank God & Co., such is the case with this Nick Duane contribution, as well. Read on to find out more about the premiere mechanics of this rather strong package of high quality-, morose-playful rainmusic.


Despite its restrained and gloomy arch-character of caressing, deep vibrations, Before The Storm is hasty and efficient to draw a picture of what is to be found on the record later on, right throughout the opening track. This particular entry contains pretty much all the key elements the release excels at as a full listening experience : as just hinted previously, the core of the statement as a full listen, sounds to be an exigent take on the David Bowian morose/gloomy soft rock rhetorics. The compositions are honest and admirably faithful to the shores of the constant feeling of being JUST one step away from full blown depression that already has been made sour peace with - this is the beauty and the danger of this music, and both ingredients ARE necessary for music worth listening to in this particular register.

The lyrical pieces of the full length are balanced well via a reoccurring strategy to offer instrumental interludes amidst the majority of individual song-pairs. The tracks show autonomous tendency to project different kinds of eloquent lights to the favorite subject matter of rainy day highway-depression : "G-Whizz" is a Southern ZZ Top piece, the next one, "When We Dream" once again channels Bowie, but adds top of the heat mid-, and high frequency synthpop-ornamentics to compliment the elegant anatomy of the song. The next track, "Beneath the Surface", is an equally caressing and thrilling ambient trip that I personally think is a superb narrative peak moment to signify the middle grounds of the spin. Exquisite, fluidic harmonic structures entertain the ears in a successful attempt to support legit David Bowie singing, narrating a tame spiritual rant : I have nothing but praise for this song, it easily is one of the most significant ambient pieces I have heard in years.

As noted previously, following the middle grounds, the album is yet to hit its more intense side : Rain On Sunday is not YET that, nor is the consecutive installment, but the rabid section kicks off with robust psycho-electro-pop-power with track number 9, "Tightrope" : this sounds like intense "punk-pop" with the promise of going crazy and utterly compromised at the end of the song. Mix Depeche Mode with ZZ Top and a cybernetic mindhack and you have this vibe. Quite delicious!

"Blabber Mouth" is another specialty in the flow of predominant patterns. The song reeks the golden era of house music, when the idea "simply was" to include as many sonic layers in a track as it is humanly / alienly possible without harming the fabric itself, and Nick Duane does a tremendous job herein. I have no doubt whatsoever that this track was never intended to be a song at all, it "just happened to end up as one" during fiddling around with various electronic instruments in the production environment.

The record has a healthy dosages of surprises up its sleeves yet, among these, titular track "Before The Storm" comes to mind. Strangely enough, this "U2-meets Bowie" declaration sounds to convey menace by its mere production values! Because it does not sound "right", yet it does not even SEEKS to sound right, in my opinion. After all, it is being played while there is a hurricane on its way to the place where the music is resonated from, so the mere shores of sky-hell are affecting the music. "Just" logic. In this regard, the song is a superb accomplishment, fulfilling a function that is very rare to see - SIC! - in music.

The album is the perfect soundtrack for a rainy highway. I seriously would pick this on 6 occasions out of 5 times right now for any rainy day highway session. Preferably as the driver. The disc also conveys a sense of X Files science fiction, in my opinion, revealed with soberly limited high frequency sonic entities that cleverly refrain from intimidation, and instead are out to invite you into a risk free cosmos-trance. Watch raindrops draw random (?) fractals on the car window in the morning supported by this music to get a spiritual boost. Track number 2, "No Wages", takes you into this Zone pretty efficiently, - think of Blade Runner meets X Files - and this is not the only occasion you will be immersed in this feeling during the spin. Once again, a rather tight and robust - 55 minutes - atmospheric ambient soft rock album with a whole lot of quality stimuli to soak some ears into. Highly recommended.

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