Listen Up: Wednesday, January 26, 2005
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Spires That In The Sunset Rise

Spires That In The Sunset Rise
(Graveface Records)

By Jimmy Fowler

“Stretching out into the dusty wastelands and untapped parts of the psyche, these are true bedroom meditations of magnificent fractured beauty.” This is the description of the 10 songs — or incantations or invocations or whatever — on the debut c.d. of Chicago’s hot indie stunt act Spires That In The Sunset Rise. If the “wastelands” and “untapped parts” of your psyche are still moist and mushy rather than dusty, then the musical trio of Taralie Dawn, Kathleen Baird, and Georgia Dallas may not be as fleet-footed as they believe, as they barefoot-jig through the midnight graveyards of Anglo-Celtic pagan music. Laid down on deliberately arrhythmic hand percussion with an abundance of flourishes like shakers, chimes, and deliberately clumsy plucks of harpsichord and fiddle, the meandering “compositions” of Dawn illustrate that pop music shorn of its requisite electric bass bearings can leave the listener feeling disoriented. But after you wander once or twice through the witchy-woman cacophony of harmonium, melodica, autoharp, cello, and antique piano on “I Am Sewn,” “Crooked Spine,” and “Bells Don’t Ring At Midnight,” the very thin traces of tuneship laced throughout this disc disappear into hollow atmospherics. Dawn is the lead yelper and chanter, and her atonal voice gets buried in the mix and occasionally captured in melodramatic echo-chamber effects.
It’s difficult to slam Spires That In The Sunset Rise for the same reason that it’s hard to recommend it, except perhaps as an excellent aural moodsetter for 2005’s big Halloween bash. These musicians sound so totally wedded to their acoustic orchestral mini-coven that the sincerity will either enchant or repel you. Of course, there will always be a sizable teen audience in the grip of a Satanic flirtation phase, and this stuff is undeniably cooler and creepier than anything you’ll hear at Ozzfest.


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