Long Fin Killie

Valentino

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AllMusic Review by

There's a little less sprawl about Valentino, but it's surprisingly stunning to see a band who had an exhaustive amount to express on their debut deliver another remarkable hour's worth of material only a year later. The second LP is in a very similar vein as the debut, with skittering rhythms, trancey guitar passages, and extended instrumental stretches galore. So it's pretty much an extension of Houdini, with not a great deal of development going on. But as the band's sound is a very unique and rather bizarre one, they don't appear to be approaching any sense of redundancy or creative shortcomings. "Cupid" is the finest thing here, perhaps Long Fin Killie's best moment. If Sutherland's violin scrapes that lead to the kick-in of an unholy squall created by the remaining members doesn't grab you, a line like "your passive tongue is such a turn on, it feels as if it's me" shouldn't fail to do the trick. After settling into a drone-like rhythmic drive, Sutherland sighs, "You never forced my head down where there's no hair to catch between my teeth." The rhythmic gist continues as percussive elements build on top of each other, until the elements gradually disappear and disintegrate until everything's dissolved. The themes of machismo and physical appearance remain ("Hand and Lips," "Girlfriend"), as well as the above-mentioned sensual nods. The title track is a drumless throb of gorgeous guitar and bass swells, a fragile lullaby that ends with ambient sax.

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