This is a review of "The Den / Circus Holes" recorded by Illusory Centre. The review was written by Chris Grey in 2012.
When Illusory Centre submitted two EPs for review at LMS they probably didn't expect their reviewer would be a baseball cap wearing raver more accustomed to synths than strings and beats than bass guitar. So I'll apologise now for my lack of musical vocabulary, not having any musical reference points and not even having heard of the genres Prog pop and Stoner Rock. Saying that all I consider myself to be open minded and a lover of good music, so here goes.
First up, The Den. Despite being a novice, I'm immediately sucked in by the intro of 'Did you enjoy your stay?' The strings start in just one channel before switching to stereo as the other elements of the track come in. I'm a fan of good usage of stereo sound so the clever production appeals here.
The steady drum and melancholic vocals work well together even though I struggled to engage with the lyrics. I found the same with the vocals on all four tracks throughout the two EPs. Illusory Centre sure know how to introduce a track though, 'Merging Words' again with a cracking intro. I found the track something of a grower as well. The more I listened the more my toe got tapping.
On Circus Holes, I wasn't so fond of 'Can't Kick a Habit,' enjoyable enough it didn't seem as accomplished as the other three. But then in the closing of the track it comes in with a great stringed melody. 'Take a Leaf' has another great intro and has some great sounds and effects in the mid part of the track too. Once again the stringed melodies are great.
I really didn't know what to expect when I played these four tracks but I've been pleasantly surprised. I'm feeling a lot of soul (lower case s) in the music. The sound is warm and lush and certainly would fit the bill for some after hours winding down. Each time I come back I'm finding a little bit more to enjoy too. Certainly as my first introduction to the band and
the genre I've heard enough here to make me want to come back for more.
Both The Den and Circus Holes are available on free download at http://illusorycentre.bandcamp.com/ and the band are currently recording new material, coming soon.