Published Nov 28, 2014Submotion Orchestra's latest release Alium features full, often luscious production. Strings, vibes and brass instruments can be heard on most of the tracks created by this seven-piece band, whose songs are often built around Ruby Wood's breathy vocals.
The compositions themselves flounder due to lyrics that include lines like "Sometimes I stumble as I follow/ But I hold on for tomorrow," from the song "Rust." As well, the arrangements of the songs tend to crescendo at the same predictable juncture, in the same predictable way. Interestingly, the exceptions to the predictability occur on the two instrumental tracks of this album, "Chrome Units" and "Bring Back The Wolf."
On these songs, the band sounds liberated and really seem to soar when they don't need to concern themselves with tailoring every note to vocals. The disappointment of this album, above all, relates to the fact that a group of undeniably talented musicians entered the studio and left with something this safe. (Counter/Ninja Tune)