Scenic

Acquatica

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

While this is similar to their debut disc in its wide-screen cinematic instrumental rock, it's also an improvement, expanding their palette of lush textures and melodic ambitions without sacrificing any of their uniqueness. It should also be noted that this is the most melodic, and even upbeat, material ever heard on record by one of Bruce Licher's groups. The unusual layers of guitar clang and shimmer are still there, but the moods and timbres are more user-friendly (which is a compliment, not a knock); he's certainly come a long way since the dissonance that typified much of Savage Republic's records. The influence of Ennio Morricone remains, especially as there are occasional touches of harmonica, melodica, bouzouki, and even trumpet. At 75 minutes this might be on the long side, but it's worth hearing for highlights like the weeping guitar sounds of "Angelica," and pieces like "Ionia" that fuse grandeur and tension; "All Fish Go to Heaven" even betrays a bit of a lounge/exotica influence. If someone's looking for a post-punk equivalent to Morricone to score their films and hasn't been directed to Scenic yet, he or she should.

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