Sweeder Swallowed By The Sun

To describe an artist's music as lilting, soothing or serene would be to stigmatise it as weak and possibly new age. This recording is all of the above in the best possible sense - it is also powerfully beautiful, without a hint of Birkenstock. The songs by this Baltimore trio are sparse yet interesting, pained but inspiring. While most of the songs are a stone's throw from melancholy, like "Moon" and "Thread and Wire," they also contain the needed element of strength through hope. The vocal harmonies between Jeff Carleton and Chiyoko Yoshida are hauntingly reminiscent of Exene and John Doe of X - very strong singing indeed. The album culminates with the simply outstanding closer "Bells Lament," an anthem for strong sensitive types that uses the soft/loud technique with the implementation of slight despair followed by the recession of triumph. A rather flowery description, but then some feelings are beyond words. (Monitor)