Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wounded Beat - Mombi

The Wounded Beat

Own Records.

SCQ Rating: 82%

Rookie bands accept a gift and curse when finagling a well-known name to produce their debut; their record may be better off but the presence of so-and-so behind the soundboards ensures that all discourse will orbit the producer’s chair. And so I sit here, swooning by the lush intimacies of The Wounded Beat and trying to anchor my thoughts on anything but Keith Kenniff (Helios, Goldmund), the man supervising this engrossing song-cycle. (Oh yeah, and Taylor Deupree mastered it. Damn, that's good company.)

Luckily, the eight songs that comprise The Wounded Beat speak confidently on their own merits and wave the tendency to play fly-on-the-studio-wall with Keith Kenniff. Yes, the brainchild of Helios thrives in accentuating the shadowed acoustics of duo Kael Smith and Matt Herron but his role mostly beautifies a stark and chilling songwriter album. With Smith on guitars, Herron on piano and both fully engaged in sampling and programming, The Wounded Beat merges folk’s backbone to transient atmospheres. ‘Cascade Cliffs (Looking Down)’ and ‘Glowing Beatdown’ dwell under barely lit streetlights, whispering soft confessions over drifting ambient clouds, whilst ‘Monsoon’ and ‘The Misunderstanding’ dial in comfortable four-by-four beats which coexist nicely with Mombi’s poignant, lyrical edge.

The Wounded Beat isn’t the sort of record Mombi will be able to recreate or repeat; it rewards patience at such a gentle rate, one thinks a simple change in sequencing might’ve pushed its focus over the brink of homogeny. In its current, fragile form, however, Mombi have woven something stubbornly handsome between the realms of bleakness and saturation. Never too hollowed out and never too dense, The Wounded Beat should provide a summer’s worth of bittersweet lilts for evening walks.

Mombi - The Wounded Beat by Mombisongs

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