Mark McGuire

Beyond Belief

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On his second album for the Dead Oceans label, former Emeralds member and multi-instrumentalist Mark McGuire continues to reference the ambient music of the '70s, but art and indie rock need to be mentioned as well. My Bloody Valentine fans can blissfully drift to the shoegazing "Sons of the Serpent," which also utilizes the same guitar processing favored by Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera. Eno's pop records also come to mind, and those '70s dots continue to connect the sounds to Deuter on the bubbling, bright, almost new age songs like the 15-minute "The Past Presents the Future." The mammoth "Earth: 2015" brings darker tones like Pink Floyd's "Embryo" and offers a highlight song that starts off dissonant, and then somehow sorts itself while growing stronger and more complex. "True Love (Song for Rachel)" mixes glitch, Krautrock, and indie vocals into a track that infers Can formed a supergroup with Ride and then were signed to Kitty-Yo, and while all these familiar sounds suggest what's inside his record collection, the flowing melodies and loose song structures are uniquely Mark McGuire, just as they were when he worked with Emeralds. Returning fans won't be disappointed, while newcomers with a taste for blissful journeys will likely be entranced.

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