Torrez

The Evening Drag

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AllMusic Review by

Following a path tread by bands like Mazzy Star and the Cowboy Junkies, Torrez makes music that is both earthy and ethereal. And like those two bands, Torrez's foundation is built on an alluring female singer (Kim Torres) and an inventive male guitarist (Sidney Alexis). They create an atmospheric soundscape filled with mysterious shadows and shimmery surfaces -- an aural equivalent of a dusky sunset in the woods or a cloud-obscured sunrise at sea. Torres' hushed vocals rarely rise above a whisper, but she conveys a genuine intimacy in her singing. Alexis compliments Torres' demure vocal restraint with his expressive and expansive musicianship. He utilizes a phalanx of guitars and keyboards, along with effects like an Omnichord, to burnish their songs with rich textures. The subtly distorted guitar in "Final Fantasy" and the disquieting lap steel in "After the Carnival" are two examples of how his creative playing serves to enhance these songs' dark moods. The New Hampshire-based band does a terrific job in achieving a compelling sound that feels both warm and chilly. However, they do seem a bit more interesting in simply setting the mood instead in fashioning distinct songs. For all of their impressive sonic coloring, the songs basically all fall into the dreamy, sometimes droney category. By occasionally varying the tempos, they could have avoided their tendency of having their languid-paced tunes blend so easily with one another. They hint at their capability to explore different music shadings at the disc's close. The lovely, stripped-down, lullaby-like "All on Fire" segues into the "hidden track," "Hold My Hand," the record's most urgently played tune. On their first full-length, Torrez succeeds in conjuring up a hauntingly beautiful sound that lingers memorably in the listener's mind.

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