Bloemfontein The Longer Now

While David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is indeed a great novel, at the time of its printing some critics decried the blanket acclaim, doubting many reviewers had bothered to read the 1000-plus page novel in its entirety. Windsor, ON’s Bloemfontein may face an uphill climb like Wallace due to the fact that The Longer Now is a double album that, all told, clocks in around two hours and ten minutes. The first disc is indeed the stronger of the two, but the gorgeous music contained on both bewilders, amazes and uplifts at various times. "Comfortable, Warm” smoulders beautifully as the first five minutes or so bring forth moody bass, a plucked, echoed guitar, and hushed drums pushing towards the creation of a mood rather than an easy payoff. Triumphant guitars abound in "Sounds Like Going Home,” giving the song clear direction over its drone background, where another band might have lagged. One of the few blips comes on the second disc as "Blue,” the longest track, drags around the 13-minute mark, leaving half the song in a repeated vamp that bores rather than lulls. Due to the sheer length there are moments that drag or float away, but Bloemfontein still has made an essential album for fans of quieter Do Make Say Think, and Labradford. Making sounds that easily attain a purpose and beauty beyond their years, Bloemfontein has made the first attack, ably drawing a line in the sand and simply stating: "Your Move.” (High Fidelity)