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Red Rust September

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Album Review

Officially the band's fifth full vinyl release, Rust Red September finds the group further moving away from the brusquer hooks of its earliest days to a calmer reflectiveness. If anything, the duo also achieved a light, airy pop feeling with this album, slotting it alongside more successful sounds from the U.K. in the mid-'80s without actually breaking through or, on a happier thought, pandering to achieve such success. This newer approach comes courtesy of Bates' singing voice, here sweetly overdubbed at many points with butter-melting-in-mouth effect — indeed, such is the purity he reaches here it almost sounds like he should be in a Scandinavian jangle pop act! "New Risen," the single from the album, balances both a catchy melody and a curious, unexpected keyboard/rhythm arrangement — the closest parallel might be to the similarly not-quite-straightforward work of the Associates, if on a generally calmer level. The elegant arrangements he and Becker create truly, completely shimmer with a strange, sparkling power, light without ever sounding either airily new age or anything remote easy listening. Consider Bates' simple but effective electric guitar work on "Pearl and Pale," which had to have been an influence on any number of later acts on the Projekt record label, heartbreaking chimes, and atmospherics while avoiding simply turning on the effects pedals. Becker's abilities with rhythm work serve the duo quite well — what initially seems like an intriguing-enough off-time drum pattern on "Leaves Are Dancing" takes a further subtle turn with the introduction of another percussion line on the chorus, steering away from 4/4 into differing realms. His many other understated touches throughout — the accordion wails on "No Perfect Stranger," the beautiful synth backing on "Bright Play of Eyes" — help further the beauty of this striking album. The CD reissue of Rust Red September contains some excellent bonuses for the appreciative fan. Three, "To Steven," "Sun-Like-Gold," and "To Elizabeth S.," originally from the Myths. Instructions. I compilation on Sub Rosa, are rougher, murkier instrumentals with an appropriately shady appeal. The remaining three are the B-sides from the Sun Bursts In EP that followed the album, resulting in a near comprehensive picture of the band's work at that time.


Formed: 1980

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

Specializing in alternative pop/rock, post-punk, and art rock, the experimental British duo Eyeless in Gaza have enjoyed an enthusiastic cult following since the early 1980s. The music of Eyeless in Gaza has tended to be moody, quirky and atmospheric, drawing on influences that have ranged from Brian Eno, Pink Floyd and Pere Ubu to Roxy Music, David Bowie (especially Bowie's Low/ Heroes/Lodger period of the late 1970s) and the seminal Kraftwerk. Eyeless in Gaza experimented with electronics from...
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Red Rust September, Eyeless In Gaza
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