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July 12, 2005

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Denver Dalley has a great great great talent for putting together perfectly soaring, monumental guitar riffs - if you listen to them, they're extremely simple. No fancy pickwork or anything, but just the melody is perfectly put together, the ambience riding over it all is so deeply emotional. Just when the opening track, "Final Broadcast," kicks in near the end, you'll know what I mean. Just three chords, one above the other, but there's just a way that those chords are played that comes together perfect. He gently describes simple things - holding one's own hands, taking a drink - but gives them a striking visual, as though the mere blink of an eye can be the most telling thing in a world a person could do. His signature guitar sound is weaved through a lot of the songs. It's very prevalent, and that might bug me for its ever-presence (like there's nothing else he could think to do with that guitar) if not for the fact that all the other perihperal things in the songs make each so unique. That guitar sound is the unifying element, and everything else jumps off from there in a wide arc. "No Promises..." - I could cry, I love this song so much. When I listened through the disc for the first time, I was walking along a lagoon in a sunset so bright, it's reflection off the rippling water was blinding. That was my first glimpse of this song, and it seemed suiting to the gulls wheeling around me. I had to repeat the song. By then I was walking through a cool tangle of woods and blossoming blackberry bushes. I had to repeat the song. By then I was on the oceanfront, where the violent tide was coming in, angrily smashing foamy waves against the retaining wall I was walking along, sending a sparkling spray of water five feet above my head in the sun. It was perfect. What a beautiful, haunting, lonely-sounding song. Keeping in with what we'd discussed some time ago, there are less instrumental songs on this album. In fact, only one - the ender, "10/22" which culminates the album much like a freakout show-ending jam session might. Just heaps of reverby guitars battling with grittier guitars, intermittent drums, and then that's just it...

Another amazing showing by the soft-voiced, swirling guitared Denver Dalley.

Song of choice : "No Promises." Honestly. Gut-wrenching. I feel so sad...


Andy Scheffler