Ink Puddle Compound

Tantrum Seas and Dust Lanes

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

This is Brandon Siscoe, aka Ink Puddle Compound's first label release, following a handful of self-released CD-Rs. Tantrum Seas and Dust Lanes builds a bridge between the American neo-folk underground and the legacy of the Coil/Current 93 axis. The dreamy, weighted-down psychedelisms of the former are filtered through the '80s synthesizers and macabre themes of the latter. The result is different and unusual, but still a bit patchy. This reviewer finds it difficult to swallow the factory settings of '80s keyboards, and Siscoe's use of them is hardly original (a couple of tracks do present interesting disembodied sounds, but they probably originate from a guitar). And some of the songs overstay their welcome and are presented in shaky suite forms -- for instance, "Our Sculptor Was a Lazy Prince" would be a very decent track if it were amputated of its four-minute introduction. Each piece tends to be simple and somewhat minimal in instrumentation, the music relying on eight-note guitar patterns, keyboard swooshes, selected percussion, and Siscoe's ghostly voice. "Fledgling" is the undisputed highlight of the set, its melody haunting and gripping. "Furnace Palms" and the closing "Distance Steals Her Vapor" are also quite strong. The latter, dominated by backward electric guitar and odd electronic sounds, illustrates Ink Puddle Compound's penchant for light experimentation. A nice official debut, not quite as strong as one would wish, but definitely getting there.

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