Siddal

Pedestal

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Released on such an Anglophilic label as Bedazzled as Pedestal was, it's no surprise that Siddal betrays a bent to the United Kingdom in its own sound. Specifically, the ghosts of the Cocteau Twins hang blissfully heavy over the duo of Richard Brinkley and Elaine Winter, though there are also hints of American fellow travelers Love Spirals Downwards as well. Winter has the same sweet purity of voice as that band's Suzanne Perry, not to mention Faith and Disease's Dara Rosenwasser, so any fans of those acts as well as the gentler, romantic side of American goth and post-punk will find Siddal worthy listening. Brinkley avoids a sweeping, produced crunch for softer chimes and washes with his guitar and does so quite well, with just the right amount of echo and distance. His Robin Guthrie fascination is equally tempered by a healthy Cure fetish when it comes to guitar and atmosphere, blended together to often lovely effect. If nothing on Pedestal is a surprise, it's always quite entertaining for those predisposed to such music, while newcomers should find it of interest on its own merits. As most of the tracks bear a distinct resemblance to each other, picking out highlights is a touch hard, but some have more noticeable flashes of originality. The title track has just a slight touch of funk in the mid-section thanks to a breakdown to drums and bass, while "When the Wolf Comes" builds to a strong, sudden rush before gently falling back again. "Treasures of Sleep" begins with a lovely piano line reminiscent of both the Cocteaus and some of the work of Slowdive and Harold Budd, while the moody "Italiano" mixes soft vibes with swirling guitar lines before a slow, almost Dead Can Dance-like drum beat kicks in.

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