Golden Death Music

Ephemera Blues

by Matthew Fiander

8 January 2008

 

Ephemera Blues, the new album from Golden Death Music, is not as self-serious as both the album and the band’s title suggests. However, it’s close. This is spaced-out and psychedelic, but it doesn’t channel the past so much as brood in the face of the future. When it works, it is a big orchestra of sadness. “Together” is fatalistic but still yearning—“Together we can finally be apart,” sings Michael Ramey—and the guitar riff up-front in the mix sounds fragile and quiet. But off in the background of the track, another guitar squeals away, always growling behind the piano keys and soft acoustics, making Ramey’s singing merely the tip of a dangerous iceberg. Ramey himself can sometimes channel Jandek in his ghostly vocals. Sometimes that channeling comes through echo effects, but more often it’s in his desire to sing for emotion rather than for key. His willingness to let his voice warble and break is his biggest strength. And while some of these songs have too much space for their own good, and let themselves unravel, the best of this stuff is as carefully-constructed and well-executed as any space-pop floating around out there.

Ephemera Blues

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article