Ester Drang Infinite Keys

While Ester Drang may not have discovered the full extent of their experimental side, like fellow Oklahomans the Flaming Lips, they have managed to continue on the journey they started with their 2001 debut Goldenwest. And they’ve never sounded better. Like so many other bands at the moment, Ester Drang embrace the swooping soundscapes that were once favoured by Swervedriver and Sianspheric and their ilk. There’s also a healthy dose of The Bends-era Radiohead thrown into the mix too. Infinite Keys manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that other similar records end up in thanks to shorter songs which keep the meandering to a pleasant minimum. That doesn’t mean that the songs don’t have enough time to build up and shift moods because somehow Ester Drang have managed to make a 40-minute album that feels longer. But in a good way. The production does feel a little too lush at times though, with the string section in particular bordering on overwhelming the proceedings on occasion. Still, for the most part, Infinite Keys is a very good album and a welcome addition to Jade Tree’s roster. (Jade Tree)