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(70:58, ‘Quiet Rebellion’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Soon 4:11 2. Still Talking Scribble 4:06 3. Beneath the Wings of a Dragon 3:15 4. From Cathedral Cities to Dark Northern Towns 4:18 5. The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend 6:52 6. Solo 2:29 7. Collisions 4:59 8. A Little Help from You Goes Such a Long Way 5:41 9. The Continual Fling 5:04 10. Cheap Exchange of Slim Affections 5:10 11. Completely by Accident Not by Design 4:51 12. Marriage of Convention 4:17 13. Substitute Silence for Noise 5:04 14. Deepest Impression-Faintest of Sketches 3:33 15. Awakens 1:57 16. Dancing in the Dark 5:11 SOLO PILOT: Shaun T. Hunter – vocals; all instruments
Prolusion. QUIET REBELLION is the moniker chosen by UK composer and instrumentalist Shaun T. Hunter for his latest production. And while it is his first album using it, he has three full length albums under his own name from earlier years, and has a background as a member of various indie bands back in the 90's.
Analysis. There's a lot to be said about one man bands and the possibilities modern technology has given them to fulfill their creative needs, and many have too, at length. But unlike all the studio aficionados tinkering away for months and years, Hunter has chosen a radically different approach for this creation. A bit like fellow countryman Matt Stevens he has opted to record music that he performs himself with whatever instruments he can play at that point in time, and then given the recordings a careful finish in the studio. In this case by adding occasional drums and some dampened keyboard textures to the proceedings. Everything else is pretty much as it was recorded. But where aforementioned Stevens seeks out territories of the more challenging variety, frequently exploring territories of a challenging nature structurally as well as instrumentally, Hunter is of a different school. His music is slow; he prefers to explore the lighter parts of the vocal and instrumental register; his creations are frail, fragile and very much emotionally laden. The instances of structurally advanced compositions are few, and far between at best, so those who enjoy instrumental virtuosity and flamboyance will have to look elsewhere, and the development of any given number doesn't really correspond with art rock as such. Gentle, mellow acoustic guitar motifs are the constant element, with occasional percussion and drums added to the mix, alongside Hunter's greatest asset: his voice. He's got a good register and can reach some impressive high notes, and he utilizes this talent in a very effective manner. Angelic lead vocals and backing vocals are dominating elements in his performances, and he frequently opts to use his backing vocals as a melodic texture in itself. And due to that inviting some comparisons being made towards what many describe as post rock. Hunter is very good at what he does, and at best his fragile, frail melancholic excursions can be stunningly beautiful. And in the case of one item in particular, Cheap Exchangeof Slim Affections, breathtaking is as good a description as anything. In style there's not much to enjoy for the dedicated art rock fan however, but for those with a taste surpassing this specialized feel the post rock singer/songwriter creations that make up this production may prove to be tantalizing indeed.
Conclusion. Careful, fragile and relatively simplistic singer/songwriter material is the main course on Quiet Rebellion's debut production "Still Talking Scribble", with angelic lead and backing vocals providing a raw nerve throughout, the latter also utilized as a musical texture in itself, adding a touch of post rock to the proceedings. Not art rock as such, but worth investigating for those who tend to enjoy gentle acoustic music with distinct melodic vocals, and in particular if they tend to like post rock as a stylistic expression as well.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 22, 2012
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