Points of Departure

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Points of Departure serves up a nice platter of atmospheric pop/rock, although it may be a bit too focused on sleek production, and not enough on strong songwriting. Lunasect approaches rock from two combined points of view: Portishead's troubled trips, and the art-rock of Roxy Music and Talk Talk. That said, the album never truly matches the intensity or sex appeal of any of these influences, but it provides a convincing, hour-long ride. Jessica Grant's voice lacks too much depth to be truly charming, but she finds a suitable tone to maintain a dark atmosphere. Guitarist Daniel Farris and bassist Jonathan Hyatt complete the trio (all of them also play electronics), and guest Civil Nuby adds acoustic drums on many of the tracks -- an appreciated touch, as it would have been easy to turn to the beatbox. This album contains a handful of good songs, namely "Zero," "Bleeding Through," "Living/Dreaming," and the bluesy "Next Exit," but its strength lies in the track sequence. Short instrumental interludes pop up every two or three songs, providing bridges to segue everything into a long trail of pieces, which gives the impression of a continuous narrative. Over its nine-minute duration, "The Empty Eye" gets spacy, in a progressive rock way, evoking a dumbed-down image of Pink Floyd. Every song has subtle electronic textures going on in the background. Once again, it doesn't add to the songwriting, but it makes the listening experience pleasurable (bringing to mind Locust's album Wrong, and its extra disc of optional backgrounds).

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