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Through the Opaque Air

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Album Review

Call it a short album or a long EP but Through the Opaque Air, the debut release by the Slow Signal Fade is a fine fusion of different strands to create something that at once is classically shoegaze and isn't at the same time. A good comparison point might be to A Perfect Circle's understatedly majestic Thirteenth Step, where on the one hand the songs and performances ride the Goth and 'gaze influences hard but the arrangements and delivery result in something different and distinct. Instead of shrouding everything in a post-Slowdive haze, the band's rolling, punching delivery is crisper and cleaner while still lovely and mysterious at the same time. There's an agreeable hint of early drone-metal in the disc as well — "A Little Vaccine" isn't, say, Black Sabbath or anything, but there's something about the focused drive and Christy Greenwood's drumming, as well, which suggest they could be riff monsters straight up if they wanted to be. The strength of the performances, matched with the equally strong singing of Marguerite Olivelle similarly suggest the work of underrated Santa Barbara band This Ascension, a balance between darkness and cool, clear vocal light that's a lovely blend. "Funny Runner" gets the disc going well while "Backstroke" brings it to a stirring conclusion. Guitarist Ron Ulicny kicks in with some sharp individual moments of flair — the squalling drone noise that starts off "Get a Glimpse," for instance — but the quartet very much make an ensemble piece song for song, everything sounds exactly right with everything else, as any good band should manage. Ulicny definitely knows his dark, murky Cure-style guitar progressions — "Push Pull Push" could easily be something off of, say, Faith at the start — and he makes them sound really grand.


Formed: 2002 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The space rock/dream pop-inspired quartet the Slow Signal Fade came together in 2002 with Christy Greenwood (drums), Chris Walters (bass), Marguerite Olivelle (vocals), and Ron Ulicny (guitar). Each bandmember shares a love for My Bloody Valentine, This Mortal Coil, Swervedriver, and the Cure, so forming a band was a natural process. The Kindling EP marked the band's first release in 2003. It spent six months on Amoeba Music's Top Ten Indie Sellers List in the Slow Signal Fade's native Los Angeles....
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Through the Opaque Air, The Slow Signal Fade
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