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The Language of Cities

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Album Review

Maserati's use of standard rock instrumentation and explorations of musical forms outside the genre may have come a few years too late — bands like Tortoise and Shipping News being only two of the many acts to excel at this in the mid-'90s. Still, Language of Cities is an excellent debut from a post-rock band whose Athens, GA, roots would imply a more Brian Wilson-esque approach to songwriting. Though most songs meander thoughtfully through tremolo-filled guitar passages tinted with soft-brushed cymbals, songs like "Keep It Gold" go for the more complex, forward-churning tendencies of bands like Polvo. The open spaces on songs like "Being a President Is Like Riding a Tiger" suggest that these guys have listened to some of the more organic IDM and ambient electronic music like Labradford or Aphex Twin, building textures instead of stringing along notes. Hardly a breakthrough, Language of Cities is more like a retrospective of all that was great about the last decade's instrumental rock without all the missteps that have made the genre such a cliché.

Customer Reviews

it IS like riding a tiger...

this album is truly something to behold, it grabs you with 'ambassador of cinema' and never lets go. you will not be sorry if you buy this album, it gives you something new each time you play it. personal favorites; 'ambassador of cinema,' 'being president is like riding a tiger,' 'moving with heavy hearts,' and 'the language.'

I'd give another star if I could.

Simplicity creating complexity. This album contains nothing uber-technical, rather it builds from basic riffs and creates a sound so intense and powerful. Really quite an amazing and beatuiful album. Get it. Now. Buy "Inventions..." too. SEE MASERATI LIVE. Back in '02 I went to see The Mercury Program, Maserati opened the show and I walked away with this album, blown away!

Smart Impulse Buy...

I heard this while I was thumbing through the new arrival vinyl section at Queen Anne Easy Street Records in Seattle last night. I don't know if it was because I was rolling solo on a rainy Sunday night in Seattle or what, but it was the perfect soundtrack for my evening. I asked the groovy chick at the counter who it was and then ran home and bought it on iTunes... Sorry Easy Street. Your store still rocks!!! I love these guys after one listen. They kind of remind me of Mogwai's softer side... Very atmospheric...


Formed: 2001 in Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Yet another of the Athens, Georgia experimentalists, Maserati picked up where bands like Tortoise, Macha, and Labradford left off with complex, warmly textured instrumental music straying from the confines of rock to explore the ambient, jazz, and even modern classical traditions. The four-piece of Coley Dennis (guitar), Steve Scarborough (bass), Phil Horan (drums), and Matt Cherry (guitar) began playing together in early 2001. After several months, they recorded and self-released 37:29:24, a moody...
Full Bio
The Language of Cities, Maserati
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Customer Ratings