Monday 17 December 2012

Praetors - Creases & Flaws

Album review by KevW

Is that cover cute or creepy? It's creepy isn't it, especially the woman. Now we've got that sorted, here's the lowdown on psych/folk group Praetors. Based around the songwriting talents of Curren Weston and Liam Fox and situated in San Diego, they began putting together the songs for this, their debut album, last year whilst both were at (different) universities. This core pairing are currently being joined by Salvador Moreya (bass) and Nate King (percussion) and 'Creases & Flaws' is being given away as a free download via Bandcamp. They admit to having a wide range of influences and if you pick apart the tunes here you could reel off a list of artists you might find in their CD collection/on their iPod.

Take for instance a track like 'Matches', a simple acoustic song at its core, the stuttering percussion and layered vocals would easily fit into the catalogue of many current alt-country/Americana bands (we'll do the obligatory Fleet Foxes mention here) but elsewhere different approaches are used. The spacious and relaxed 'Western Movies' is just a slight remix away from turning into chillwave, and the same could be said for 'Intro'. 'Crowns' and 'Native Tongues' both fit neatly into the singer-songwriter category, but again it's the subtle additions and use of reverb that make them more interesting than that and add an element of depth. Most of these songs you'd have to say are pretty good, but there are some that reach another level.

The mysterious and more electronic sounding 'Kids' is a case in point, the guitars are that bit freer and a warm fuzz is allowed to creep in; it's verging on space-rock. Praetors show that they're up for some experimenting too, it's not easy to describe the confused psychedelic soup of 'Role Plays' and that can only be a good thing. When they dive head-first into more regular psychedelia and add their own clanging style, as heard on 'Drapes', they find the sound that suits them best. There are a number of avenues that appear to be available to Praetors and, naturally, which one they take is up to them. But with magical cosmic sounds like those used on 'Calavera', we know which route we'd be taking.

Praetors' website

Stream or buy the album

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