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Album Review

The band's first studio album but, as the name implies, its third overall, III finds the members of the Alps in good creative health — perhaps not surprising for a slew of performers who regularly make their name with other projects like Tarentel and ARP, but the trick for any such project lies in its members knowing how to meet in the middle. On this level III is a good success, clearly balancing out solo and improvisational elements with gentle structure on a series of (mostly) instrumentals, equal parts feedback drone/zone and slow, steady melodies and rhythms. It's very much an album placing itself in a larger tradition — Pink Floyd at their most creative, especially with soundtrack work (not for nothing would one song here be called "Echoes"), and similarly Popul Vuh, and those are simply two of the most obvious references. While the whole is a generally attractive listen, some parts stand out more — "Hallucinations," the second song, is also the first truly striking one, a combination of swooping, treated vocal keening and guitar swirl and a pace-setting, halfway-to-dub beat. "Labyrinths," initially led by drums and piano, gets more moodily mysterious with spindly guitar parts in the background, while its quiet ending, leading into what sounds like an overlay of two or three saxophones making up the entirety of the brief "Pink Light," makes for an enjoyable contrast in sound.

Customer Reviews

wow! where did this come from?

This is a highly experimental and unstructured album, but I think it flows very well and is mesmerizing to listen to. It came as a surprise since their previous albums sound very ordinary; I would call them light rock. I guess they decided to change their whole sound, and I for one am happy they chose to do so. p.s. Start with "hallucinations"


Formed: Greenwich, London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Alps are an experimental rock trio from San Francisco who released their debut studio recording in 2008 after some earlier home recordings were well received. Their music is sometimes described as filmic. Comprised of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (also of Tarentel), Alexis Georgopoulos (aka ARP; also of Tussle), and Scott Hewicker (also of Troll), the Alps made their full-length album debut in 2006 with Jewelt Galaxies/Spirit Shambles. Released on the label Spekk, Jewelt Galaxies/Spirit Shambles compiles...
Full bio
III, The Alps
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