Friday, 14 October 2011

Orienteers - Orienteers



This article also appears on www.soundsxp.com



This is Orienteers first release since changing their name from the quaint moniker 'That's The Spirit'. The alteration came from an apparent desire to reflect the band's tendency to write about travel, and this does sound like an outdoor record but one that's stopped off for a nap in a hammock rather than possessing the get-up-and-go the title implies. 'Orienteers' is so laid back it's practically asleep which makes for a very soporific listening experience. In some respects this is to it's credit; in short bursts it can be quite appealing in its sparseness and it does boast a certain otherworldly quality. Yet over the course of an album it's challenge to maintain interest through ten variations of the same theme, and this is a shame as there are some nice ideas here.

'Walking Song' plods along  happily enough until you realise the path it's taking you down is a dead end – and that sums up the problem: none of the tracks really go anywhere and the record is crying out for a change of pace or anything that might make the songs more engaging. The vocals sound as though they were recorded down a phone line and then pushed as far back in the mix as the desk would allow, in fact Orienteers pull off the unusual trick of making everything sound this far back. This is by no means a bad album, it's more a missed opportunity. Orienteers have ideas but seem to be lacking the map that will get them to their destination. Pleasant enough but far from essential.

ORIENTEERS by orienteers

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