Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mothlite - Dark Age

Album review by KevW


As the saying goes, first impressions last, and this fact could be a stumbling block for Daniel O'Sullivan on this, his second full-length under the Mothlite guise. Not because 'Dark Age' is a particularly cold or impenetrable album, quite the opposite, it sounds warm and fairly easy to listen to. Unfortunately at first glance it's all very beige; a one-paced voyage through pedestrian beats, wishy-washy synths and unexcited vocals. It feels repetitive, bland and generally quite dull. Nothing sticks out and grabs you, nothing captures your imagination.

While this may be off-putting to the casual listener or those not just looking for pleasant enough background music, it's worth persevering with. There are no startling discoveries, but once you become familiar with 'Dark Age' it becomes increasingly welcoming and slowly begins to reveal its true colours: it's not all beige after all. That said, there are great big lumps of filler mixed into its sonic building blocks. Tracks such as 'Wounded Lions' and 'Milk' barely register as they float by.

When he gets the mood right, as on the slow-burning 'Seeing In The Dark', the rare brush with gusto on the 80s-tinged 'Something In The Sky' or twinkling centrepiece 'The Underneath', the results far more attention grabbing and make picking through the fluff a reasonably rewarding experience. 'Dark Age' isn't exactly poppers o'clock but if you have the time to get to know it well the high points outweigh the drab bits and make it just about worth the effort.





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