Tuesday, December 21, 2010
#21 Album Of 2010: The Violent Blue - Electric President
The Violent Blue
Fake Four Records.
Original SCQ Review
Remembering The Violent Blue’s roots as a humble B-sides project almost seems like mythology now. Those early considerations of throwing a group of misfit tracks from the Sleep Well sessions onto the internet, whenever lead songwriter Ben Cooper (1) had the time, (2) finished recording a few parts, (3) properly mixed it all, (4) added a couple extra songs, and, finally, (5) reclassified it as a full-length follow-up and found it a label.
The material deserved such due process and delivers after such a prolonged waiting period. Vapours of the somber synth-party that gave Sleep Well its funereal elegance remain here (‘Circles’ and the title track), yet just as many tracks adapt to more organic surroundings. The acoustic-driven sentiments of ‘Safe and Sound’ lift Electric President’s eerie palette whereas ‘All the Distant Ships’ stomps in decidedly heavier pastures, its distorted verses contrasting beautiful, brief moments of clarity.
It’s only worth remembering this record’s B-side-worthy beginnings to put in perspective why The Violent Blue doesn’t take any permanent steps forward. Half rooted in Sleep Well’s nightmare and otherwise fleshing out Cooper’s “love-letter to the sea”, The Violent Blue is a thematically torn sister-album merging the past and present. This partial limbo may not benefit the record after the distinctly progressive showings of Electric President’s previous two LPs, but that doesn’t prevent the band from sounding nearly as brilliant standing still.