Early Day Miners

Placer Found

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    6
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Placer Found is a fragile album of moody textures and minimalist, slow rock sound explorations. Bandmembers cite influences ranging from Brian Eno to Ry Cooder to Talk Talk, but most listeners will probably see closer connections to Low, Red House Painters, and Codeine. The album seems to exist as a musical mapping of mother nature's more barren landscapes. Song titles and the album's musical tone both seek to paint vivid etchings of mountain vistas and desert night scenes. Vocals are hushed and mostly impenetrable, as musings about the wind and the stars linger just below a fractured stream of shimmering acoustic and electric guitars, hesitant drums, and dark instrumentation and sound effects that sometimes recall Slowdive's Pygmalion. If the vocals were just a bit more confident and the atmosphere just a slight bit more varied and optimistic, Placer Found would be an easier listen. It's not that the vocals are weak, but it seems like there's been an attempt made to mimic Mark Hollis, which is a difficult proposition when the music seems so heavily indebted to the U.S. slowcore scene. There is a built-in audience for music as bleak as the songs of Early Day Miners, and there's not a false note to be found on Placer Found, but one does get the sense here that the band is hesitant to stray from a formula they set forth before recording even began.

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