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Two Words & A Gesture by Vessels

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Reviewed on 2nd December 2007.


Two Words & A Gesture

By Vessels

Shoegaze and experimental music can be quite hit-and-miss. Some would probably argue, with more than just slight condescension, it's more often miss; but then it's these factions that miss out on some of the more interesting artistic visions on the music scene.

Vessels would be one of the bands with just such a vision. "Two Words and a Gesture" seems to revel in its dream-like liquidity and pace, particularly in indulging in a languid introduction just shy of a minute and a half. Instrumental and vocal parts throughout the track show the band to have a very honed sense of ambient. The effect is a very successful one: expect stupor and a warping sense of the minutes ticking by.

That said, this is a surprisingly memorable song. To a certain extent it is a bit of an absurdity to release your average ambient song as a single, but Vessels have good command of melody. The vocal line is probably best described as a pop hook at half-speed and given less of a dominant role in the mix. Equally, the attractive little riff on keys that comes in at about the half-way point is an ear-catcher.

The B-side, Clear and Calm, is also a noteworthy accomplishment. The sonorous introduction interweaving guitar and bass, brilliant in the first place, develops and grows in intensity in a very inventive way. The drums also help to achieve impressive intricacies in the song's fabric.

The two songs seem to work seamlessly together. I think perhaps "Two Words and a Gesture" might be slightly less stable presented independently, but with the B-side (which really ought to be called the AA-side, it's that convincing) it's very engrossing. Vessels give ambient/experimental one of the most flattering makeovers it's had for a long time, and don't make themselves look half bad along the way.



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experimental alternative rock/live techno

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  • Nov 4 2016Beaver Works
    Full line-up, tickets & information.