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It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever)
Irish band go to ground in Montreal to produce beguiling nu-Western soundtrack atmospheres
Craig Fitzpatrick, 03 Nov 2010
Irish music doesn’t come much more cinematic or widescreen than this. On their debut, Halves have turned in the kind of considered, ambitious album that most other bands spend their entire career trying to conjure. Recorded live on reel-to-reel tape in Montreal, a wide array of instruments are thrown into the mix – swirling organs, mournful brass and strings, drums that move from uncertain shuffle to marching band stomp. It is a vintage album, literally humming with atmosphere, the analogue tone giving it a warmth and grit.
Tim Czerniak’s high, faraway voice floats above it all, with occasional snatches of lyrics revealing themselves. Ethereal female vocals join him on ‘Growing & Glow’ – it could be a Kate Bush duet. The album opener ‘Land/Sea/People’ sets the tone well, and if the vaguely sinister, utterly compelling ‘Darling, You’ll Meet Your Maker’ is an early highlight, the quality doesn’t dip. It Goes, It Goes is a record to be absorbed as a whole work (preferably on vinyl, for which it was designed, with all the lights off.) Though it doesn’t track any specific narrative path, you can imagine it soundtracking some yet-to-be-filmed modern Western. In fact, if it bears any recent stylistic partners, occasionally it recalls the musical scores of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
This is not an immediate album but it is the most rewarding kind of record – one that grows on you, drawing you deeper in with each listen. Unfortunately that might mean most people won’t give it the time it demands. Those that do are the lucky ones. Forever and ever? Amen to that.
KEY TRACK: ‘DARLING, YOU’LL MEET YOUR MAKER’