Alternative music reviews


Shapes and Lines April 2003

Blue2Noise are not about to set the world on fire. Insecurity Guards with a thoughtful, sad, and gentle cargo. They sound very English - like a mix of The Pale Saints with their harmonies, early New Order guitar motifs and slightly hesitant vocals , and That Uncertain Feeling (okay, I know few people remember them now but their early promise and live performance was inspiring). In fact they are from New York City and have been going for many years - their experience shows in their fine comand of mood,texture, and dynamics.

You know the way that some albums are more than the sum of their parts - The Cure's Disintegration, for example, lacks the killer songs they have had in the past but makes up for it by being consistent in atmosphere and some atmospheres take 40 minutes to envelop you. Well, shapes and lines does something similar and carries you along on a menu of foot-tapping ennui and melodic guitar interplay. You shouldn't really split an album like this into it's constuent parts but if I was doing a compilation tape for a friend then I would end it with today again because 7 minutes of empassioned indie guitar beauty would set anybodies blood pumping. Once I had started, then I would quickly add afraid for it's fragile emotion and use of dynamics to drag you from regret to uncertainty and back again. Pretty soon I would add more tracks like pontiac crash and it would no longer be a compilation tape - just a Blue2Noise from start to end.

I hope it won't be taken as an insult to say that this album is great driving music - it's not so in your face that you can't pay attention to the road when you have to but it gives enough inspiration to make the journey satisfying. There are plenty of moments when you can put your foot down, join the BMW drivers and break the speed limit on the sweeping bends of the motorway (the 'freeway' for US readers). That's not an over-laboured metaphor - just a simple description of my Monday and Friday drives to and from work. Blue2Noise have made that drive more enjoyable and I'm grateful to them for that.

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