[14 January 2010]
Grandiose sounds with DIY roots are found herein as Unsparing Sea, a five-member outfit from Cleveland, layers hypnotic drones and orchestral sounds with indie, Americana, and folk undertones on its latest offering, In the Diamond Caverns. “Sandpaper/Sadpaper” begins the release with a winding up of sorts, as a harp (Becky Zydiak) flows in and out and a cello (Tara Klein) etches itself into the woodwork. Singer-songwriter J.R. Bennett moans and whispers while this tension builds. After about two minutes, a loose banjo (Mike Marks) enters and guides the dramatic feedback and buzzing of guitars around the melody. As horns signal a fanfare, a saw (Sarah Leitten) whistles its discordant tones. A similar effect can also found be on “Sing Devil Sing”—albeit with some pitchy moments. The rest is chock full of depth with its vast instrumentation and cryptic lyrics. “Held in Light” has the same ingredients plus what sounds like a ghostly chorus of the undead.