[4 June 2007]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
It’s almost too easy to dismiss Priestbird as being too eclectic for its own good. After all, the band formerly known as Tarantula A.D. (legal hassles forced the name change) are all over the stylistic map from track one of In Your Time, first with the hazy stoner rock of “Life Not Lost”, then with the sumptuous, bleary-eyed, devoutly Floydian “Season of the Sun”, and then with the inexplicable chamber piano piece “Guest Room”. It’s enough to leave us thinking, Okay, we know you’re clever, boys, now pick a genre and stick to it. But not only is this trio very proficient at every musical ingredient they toss into this wild paella of a sound, but they manage to do so without an ounce of pretension. Consequently, we’re able to buy into the way “Hand That Draws” shifts from neo-folk to space rock, and how they incorporate classical music into the doom-laden dirge “Smoke & Pain”. The pace of the album’s second half moves in somnambulistic fashion from languid, to lugubrious, to bordering on ponderous, but at barely over 40 minutes (not counting the toss-off hidden track), it’s reassuring to know Priestbird knows when to say when.