Streetlight Records

Asleep in the Back [US Bonus Track]
Artist: Capestany
Format: CD
New: Not currently available Used: Currently Unavailable

Formats and Editions


Like the Doves—only more organic and far less reliant on techno-electronicelements—Manchester’s Elbow have reached back to the era of early ‘90sU.K. dreampop and to the island’s early ‘80s ethereal rock. Asleepin the Back is thus bright and sinewy, a crisp, delightful, engrossing texturalrecord. It well deserved its nomination for the prestigious U.K. Mercury Prize—infact, it should have won it.

The ten-year old quintet used to be a funk-rock band named Soft, based in littleBury in the nowhere suburbs, before they moved downtown, changed their name andapproach, and found their niche. They’re led by Guy Garvey, whose voice soundslike a dead ringer for Peter Gabriel mixed with Rob Dickinson when the CatherineWheel star sings in his upper registers. Garvey croons quietly, trilling sparelullabies over repetitive, unobtrusive grooves that have been further likenedto Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk, or Radiohead without the bombast.

To Elbow’s credit, there’s plenty of variety. The opening “AnyDay Now” is a repetitive little bit of somber minor prog rock, which is entirelyoffset by the piano-graced, more redolent “Powder Blue.” Likewise, thereare folk leanings on the band’s debut single, “Newborn,” and theoverall first-day-of-spring ambiance is often disturbed by thicker soundscapepassages such as the rousing middle of “Can’t Stop.”

Quite pleasant in its mellow vibe, but never dull, Asleep is filled withquiet yearning, rhythmic microgrooves, hypnotic little passages, and even an occasionalangry guitar blast out of nowhere (“Bitten by the Tailfly”), just tomake sure you’re not blissing out too much. Next time, they could match theirattention to mood with more powerful songwriting, but that’s a nit-pick.What’s here is undeniably great, and may well turn heads again to the pleasuresof otherworldly import artistry.
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