If the surprise release of "Burn the Witch" has you craving lo-fi electronic tunes set ablaze by Thom Yorke's soaring warbling, Spines of the Heart-- a newly released experimental alt-rock album from classically trained musician Bryan Deister (who sounds awfully similar to Yorke vocally)--should be the next LP in your download queue.
Trained in classical, jazz, blues, and progressive rock at Berklee, Bryan writes, sings, and composes all parts of his tracks--including the chorals, polyrhythms, and music for rare and unique instruments (like funk banjos and rice percussion). Spine's lead single, "Into the Sky," has peaked at #5 and #148 on the Digital Radio Tracker Charts for Independent Music and National Airplay, respectively.
Spines is an ambitious double album, mastered by Grammy Award-winning Bernie Grundman (who boasts many legendary projects to his name, including mastering Dr. Dre's The Chronic). While the considerable number of tracks--22--does feel overwhelming at times, there are enough standouts to pull the listener through to the end.
Many of the initial tunes are simultaneously calming and emotional, evoking Sigur Ros and other such post-rock acts with minimalist aesthetic elements. "Today" , "Nobody Angel" , "Emily," and "Sure" conjure many similarities to Radiohead, chiefly Deister's voice, which moans and soars its way through every song.
Additional outstanding tracks include "Wait," for its cool and complex vocals, and "What You Want," for it's percussion-driven, rock edge. There are a few songs that stick out as slightly lesser than the rest, like "Silent Screams," which seems almost too playful to blend with the Nirvana-esque brooding that's heavily and expertly served on Spines. But a little extra fat does not significantly detract from the potential of the album, which Deister has called an "almost too personal" and "reflective" LP.
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