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Climax Golden Twins, "Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered"

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North East Indie
Atmospheric tones have always been the trademark of Climax Golden Twins, and on their latest release the group, who make little effort to identify themselves beyond their collective name, moves into the more intimate side of their range. Maybe scoring the feature film Session Nine had an affect on the band, as the film features one character listening to old recordings of psychological evaluations; these songs are created around acoustic guitars primarily and interwoven with sampled recordings from over sixty years ago. These samples can be gloriously simple, from a conversation to narrative storytelling, or a father talking to a child, and when paired with the Twins music and manipulation they take on a whole new life beyond their quaint beginnings. Even though the music is quieter and sweeter than other releases, there's still an undercurrent of darkness, or maybe just a twinge of mortality here and there. Ominous feelings appear on select songs, like the voice at the end of "Every Word in the Bible" or the child's voice on "Billy McGee McGaw," but these sometimes seem unintentionally so, and the music just seems to fit wherever and whatever happens. Occasionally, though, like on "Little Noreen," the music sets the scenario, and in these cases it's almost always a sinister undertone. Sparseness is a key element all over, with songs not extending into grandiose affairs or snarls of noise, just speaking their minds with as little words as possible. The album's second track is the keynote speaker in that regard: called "Upright," the song is a very simple melody played on an upright piano with brushed cymbals, the very "trick of singularity" as Shakespeare put it. There's little vocals besides the scratchy recordings, but when there are ("Solid Gold Microphone," for instance) they fit perfectly, and it's as though it's a cover of a golden oldie just discovered in grandma's collection, brought forth and updated for the new ears of today. Maybe that's the key: using technology of today to make songs that could fit somewhere lost in time; and that's always seemed to be this group's specialty, never as fully realized until now. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2005 07:09  


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