Bethany Curve

Skies a Crossed Sky

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The motto of the band, boldly stated in the clear CD tray, reads "atmosphere - arrangement - sound - layering - noise," and that's about the size of it. The first track, "Vanish," will have any shoegazing cultists out there practically weeping for joy. Crossing the heavily phased intensity of the Cure with more recent kings of beautiful noise such as Slowdive, it clearly indicates where the rest of the album is headed. Skies a Crossed Sky is dedicated to the proposition that digital delay pedals and dreamy, druggy tempos and lyrics will always have a place somewhere. Released on a small label in the mid-'90s, it resolutely refused to fit in anywhere on either mainstream or alternative radio, making its joys all that much more fun to seek out. The vocals sometimes take a dark turn, but more on the level of quietly ominous dread than hyped-up screaming. More often than not, though, the band sticks to long, sighing deliveries which should be familiar to fans of Ride. Musically, the mix of styles on the record is impressive. The soft chiming and solo guitar webs of "Terpsichore" give way at song's end to crumbling feedback and heavily processed snarls, while the deep, lovely ringing which makes up nearly all of "Mot Juste" is simply to die for in its melancholy appeal.

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