Changes - _Twilight_
(HauRuck!, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (no rating)
In the absence of leadership, imitation remains. Which is to say, you reap what you sow. Calamities such as the errant looting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina can be viewed as partly the result of mass indoctrination from within; by a culture that has become one huge advertisement for its own false accomplishments. As once even the thinnest guise of organized power was pulled down, for some the option to die comfortably with a stack of DVDs was preferable to working together in waiting out the storm. Can this really surprise us so much?

Earlier this year in Richmond, Virginia residents literally beat and stomped on one another in a mad rush to purchase discount laptops. In April, a 17 year old from Chicago was shot and killed for his $110 Air Jordan sneakers. In our sorrowful empire, much like it has been since before we undertook the task of pollinating the globe with our military and merchandise, authority is measured by ownership: once people, now things.

Reflecting on such recent carnage, Robert Taylor's psychedelic vision entitled "Ruins", the cover for Changes' brief segues into amplified rock (completed long before the latest crisis), takes on a renewed significance; for a quiet mood as the deserted strips of metropolis corrode under a warm and empty sky. Its serene displacement speaks from the dispassionate cowl of those who observe The West's fractious civilization.

_Twilight_'s interplay between images, words and sound creates a stirring portrait of humanity's collective decline, once again utilizing the group's own distinct folk-noir aesthetic with a slight twist, reaffirming the value of what is lost. This 7" vinyl release is composed of three Changes tracks --"Icarus", "Waiting for the Fall", "Twilight of the West" -- re-recorded from the traditional acoustic format to traditional late '60s rock. Nicholas Tesluk's twelve string guitar is still featured; contrasted by Robert Ferbrache's accompaniment on bass, electric guitar and keyboards. It's Ferbrache who is the real transforming element to this mix (also featuring Michael Moynihan and Buck Hammer, who is unknown to me, on drums), effusing starry echoes and a kick in the guitar's timbre not unlike Dick Dale (who has worked with him in the past) while laying a chorus by keyboard that gleams behind Robert Taylor's sturdy vocals. The result is a less foreboding, but pleasantly dated sound with roots in a milestone era, and seems appropriate to offer this redux of the group's more explicit ballads.


(article published 29/9/2005)

5/18/2006 T DePalma Changes: Words of the Traveller
4/19/2005 T DePalma 9.5 Changes - Orphan in the Storm
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