Furry Things

Moments Away

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Hooking up with splendid avant-garde denizen Brad Laner as coproducer, Furry Things fully took to embracing a spare, mysterious, and very overtly experimental techno sound on Moments Away. Now much more a kindred spirit of Seefeel in its later Warp-era incarnation, the four piece collectively work on pushing bounds on what a "rock" band is supposed to sound like. Guitars more often sound like mysterious, heavily processed and treated chimes and weird synths; the rhythms call to mind astringent art-dub; and the use of piano and keyboards to fill out the corners thanks to Chris Michaels makes for the perfect icing on the cake. Above all, space is key -- even at its busiest, one can hear the silence playing as important a role as sound. The past sprawling overdrive of Furry Things' earliest days is turned around 180 degrees as a result. A good example is "Radiant Imbalance," where a snarling feedback solo does crop up amidst the brisk, quick beats and background swirl, but is chopped up and never is the most to-the-fore element of the music. Shive takes over as main vocalist, her soft voice given center stage, mixed high to stand out clearly amidst the dreamy mechanical trance of the music. Her biting, emotional lyrics make for an even more unique stamp for Moments Away -- check out "That Machine" or "Downswing Dub" for two examples of many. Gibson's one or two appearances in contrast sound more self-consciously dreamy, but still to good effect -- his double-tracked vocals on the playful "The Statement" make for good listening. "Between Games," a particularly sharp emotional dressdown featuring Gibson on the chorus but otherwise all Shive, benefits not merely from the singing but the weird and wonderful combination of Woodburn's clipped drumming and impossibly high-pitched guitar melody.

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