Zoebliss For The Beauty of Ruins

Zoebliss is the result of collaboration between singer/songwriter Brenley MacEchern and bassist Adrian Lawryshyn. MacEachern brings her earthy folk background while Lawryshyn contributes his rhythmic input to the partnership. The result is a decent, if not great album. Brenely MacEachern's high, sweet voice is complimented with a spacy reverb and a relaxed groove that runs throughout the albums 11 songs. The songs creep, sometimes sluggishly, with spots of electric energy emanating from Michael Rockwood's electric guitar. Not exactly a "get up and dance" record, the songs tend to be a meditative brooding run down the melancholy interstate, never really getting out of third gear. Textured percussion does add a depth to most of the tunes, which keep them interesting but rarely more than that. The songs are at their best when they begin to breakthrough the darkness and use MacEachern's strong vocals to actually rock. The song "I Remember" is an example of one such moment on For The Beauty of Ruins. The lyrics are heartfelt and sung with devotion and feeling that would be at home if they were given a chance to shine. The sound of the album is a little too reminiscent of bands like Portishead or the Sneaker Pimps, a sound that seems to be in vogue for female vocalists, though Zoebliss does its best work when they move away from such influences. Perhaps on their next effort the MacEachern/Lawryshyn's combo will showcase their obvious talent in a more original way. (Independent)