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Turin Brakes

Ether Song

Release Date: 03.11.03
Record label: Astralwerks / Emd
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Coffee Table Camo
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent

For a band that had their debut album nominated for a Brit Award and the Mercury Music Prize, Turin Brakes haven’t made as many waves as you might expect. There wasn’t the anticipation in the run up to the release of Ether Song that other bands have generated when following up big debut CDs. Sure, The Optimist LP spawned a few low key singles like "Underdog (Save Me)" and "Mind Over Money," but it didn’t really get the audio taste buds watering. And so Ether Song will arrive on the scene on March 3, hot on the heels of the quality single "Pain Killer" but not really promising to blow us away.

And it’s just as well because it doesn’t blow us away at all. In fact, those of you who part with your cash for Ether Song will be buying just another guitar album, one that gets off to a cracking start with "Blue Hour" and "Average Man" but then spirals down to normality. And by the end when you get to "Panic Attack" and "Rain City," Ether Song becomes nothing more than a random album with guitars and a melancholy undertone. Clearly influenced in places by the wailing of Radiohead and sounding in other places like a watered down Remy Zero, Turin Brakes are clearly talented but not clearly distinguished from a myriad of other bands emerging from the “New Acoustic” musical age.

Ether Song was recorded in three weeks during last summer in California of all place, which seems a little at odds with what Turin Brakes, a down to Earth UK duo, appear to stand for. But while the album is personal and pleasant enough, it doesn’t hit home and stand out like I hoped it would. It’s a coffee table album; you’ll look cool if friends see it lying around your house but it blends in with too many others you own. 27-Feb-2003 9:48 PM