Geoff Farina

New Salt

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On New Salt, guitarists Geoff Farina and Dan Littleton set aside their singing and songwriting in favor of an instrumental trio with drummer Luther Gray. The guitars are fairly loud and often verge on feedback, but the languid pace keeps them reigned in to a certain extent. Gray's drumming here is very free, used to punctuate and color rather than keep time, and he wisely understands the role of silence in music like this. In fact, besides some cymbal scraping and foot tapping (?), he hardly plays at all on "Pouring Water on Stone." The pieces themselves are slow to unfold and range from almost pure drone ("Pouring Water on Stone") to just this side of jazzy ("Point Judith"). "Harmonia" is built on a simple figure on harmonium, while there are some nice unison melodies and great feedback tone on "New Salt." The album occupies an odd space pitched between instrumental rock, ambient drone, and almost-jazz, but it's quite successful on its own terms.

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