Crescent By the Roads and the Fields

On only their fourth album in over ten years Crescent have crossed over into territory populated by bands who believe quiet is the new loud. Rather than turning up their amps they encourage us to turn our hearing aids up. A warmth of tone is coupled with a world weariness, especially in the hushed and droning vocals of Matt Jones. The fabric of the songs are drawn from strands of Joy Division’s urgent fatalism and Current 93’s multi-instrumented ceremonialism, but stripped of the latter’s overt theatrics. The grey-shaded palette is most familiarly drawn from fellow Bristol outfits such as Movietone and Flying Saucer Attack, which is unsurprising given Crescent’s line up features members of these bands. Ultimately By the Roads explores how to extract as much meaning and emotion as possible out of deliberate combination of individually minimal elements. And much is found along these paths. (Fat Cat)