The Sound of Everything

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From its gentle start with "MTSES III," calm acoustic guitar and soft harmonizing, Thousands are not out to orgiastically feast on the blood of their enemies. At least, not directly. "Big Black Road," possessed of a stately, moving melody from the start, is what first gives a sense of something beyond gentle polite sonic worship -- within sounding like, say, Nick Drake or Elliott Smith, the light voices and conversational feel of Kristian Gerrard and Luke Bergman come across as expressing the feeling of someone trying to persuade while not being fully sure himself. But it's not all that through The Sound of Everything, as the quick and sprightly "Everything Turned Upside Down" and "To Save the Truth" show, among others. But the sense of close tenderness instead of rollicking singalong remains paramount in the end. Sometimes it's all down to a moment -- the extended instrumental coda to "Red Seagulls," a piece of deliberate, almost hesitating playing after a huge initial rush, is enjoyable in this regard. A further sense of expectant hush is added by the opening harmonium on the title track, not to mention the very heavily echoed vocals, yet again their easy, sweet way of singing turns it into something more soothing than startling.

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