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Truth Loved by Vague Angels

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Reviewed on 6th June 2007.


Truth Loved

By Vague Angels

After touring and recording with New Jersey art-underground outfits such as Van Pelt and The Lapse, Chris Leo took a brief sojourn to write the novel "White Pigeons". Not content with merely penning his magma opus, our Chris decided to go the whole hog and record a musical accompaniment to one of the chapters, then releasing it as an album. His band Vague Angels (with the help of a smattering of New Jersey-based musicians) help provide the backing, with the chapter extract itself making up the lyrical content.

Anyone familiar with the recorded output of Leo's previous outfits will recognise straight away the skewed art-rock tendencies he always excelled at. With Vague Angels assistance, the recording also has strong elements of rolling Americana, as typified by the folkish and whisky-sodden romper "Secondhand Smoke". The recording quality is quite lo-fi throughout, with guitars and the other assorted instruments fighting it out for room with the vocals. As you may expect from a recording based around a novel chapter, song titles are brazenly verbose and eccentric- "The Long Coy Hue Of Steaming Emeralds" being a smashing example. Song structure can often frequently go off at tangents- witness  "Themepark Ashtray In Ashtray Themepark"... again perhaps apt and intended to reflect the winding narrative of the chapter.

The freeform leanings do sometimes mean that quality control can sometimes go amiss, however the album as a whole pulls its weight to ensure an interesting and varied listen. Perhaps more importantly, after disappearing off the musical radar somewhat for a number of years it is a welcome return for Chris Leo himself. Truth Loved is a clever and original lyrical narrative set against a free-rolling foot-stomping musical subplot.



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On 8th June 2007 at 10:56 Anonymous 3919 wrote...

The Van Pelt were awesome. Remember dragging loads of people to see The Lapse at Leeds fest and their equipment failing after a song or so. During the break Chris told a rambling tour story which generally consisted of a series of catastrophes. It's good to see him back.

Another good review Nick, hope you'll be heading down to see Ted Leo at the Cockpit next month.



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