Absinthe Blind Rings

Absinthe Blind are a band that I’ve come across from time to time on compilations and always been rather impressed with what I’ve heard. But a big concentrated dose of them, namely their fifth album Rings, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. That might be a little harsh because this is far from the worst album of the year. It just doesn’t have the momentum to sustain the goodness over an entire album, and there are even a couple of songs which are frankly not very good at all. Instead of focussing on the swirly, atmospheric songs they’ve become very good at, they’ve moved closer to something that belongs in a stadium. The problem is that everything about the album is big. They’ve tried to make an album that’s both epic and cinematic (their words), and more often than not it comes off as overblown and even pompous. Songs just keep on going and going when it would be smarter just to fade out and call it a day. Maybe the band just have ideas that are too big to be contained on a single CD. Or maybe they got bad advice from their production team of Matt Talbott (from Hum) and Keith Cleversley (who has worked with Spiritualized and Mercury Rev). But maybe they need to take a step back before their next album. (Mud)