[28 October 2011]
Fancy stepping off pop’s trademark thud and bump and grind for a while? Well, pull yourself up a copy of the self-titled album by A Winged Victory for the Sullen and take a load off.
Serving up seven tracks of stillness and evolving piano motifs not a million miles away from Eno’s Music for Airports, it’s tempting to label AWVFTS’s self-titled album as ambient. But while that often over-intellectualized genre all too often hangs for real as the aural equivalent to floral wallpaper – pretty but flat – AWVFTS contains more of an obvious, more satisfying performance element. It’s classical, but not; hardly electronic, seeing as there isn’t much instrumentation beyond pianos; and in the absence of any drums, it’s not conventional of form.
Perhaps, given that I’ve been around HMV’s mega-store in London twice looking for this album, checking all the departments—from rock/pop and dance down to classical, across to jazz, even through easy listening—but to no avail, there’s two things which can be said for AWVFTS. One: yes, clearly, it’s a tough one to categorize; and two: the mainstream isn’t yet alerted to the fabness of this release, thus it’s not getting the distribution. A pair of reasons (along with the fact I’ve also had this for a month now as a download, and keep coming back to it) are reason enough to stray beyond the all too familiar that is the mainstream these days, and give something different a whirl.
One thing’s for sure, A Winged Victory for the Sullen won’t make you angry or want to destroy civilization. Which is more than can be said for Cobra Starship.