3 Mar 2021

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Impending Adorations - Album Review: Alliances 1: A Handful Of Dust

26 Oct 2019 // A review by Mike Alexander

Just a month after delivering the latest The Impending Adorations album, Allies, Paul McLaney announced, via Facebook, “a big day in music” with the release of the single Loose Ends by Her Own Medicine, a band of which he is a member, and the EP Alliances 1: A Handful Of Dust, a collaboration with Jakob guitarist Jeff Boyle.

The Alliances EP is a game-changer in so far as it is a welcome return to recording for Boyle (he’s apparently working on another Jakob album) and suggests that McLaney will also be working with kindred souls on other collaborations.

It takes its title from the opening track, a gently droning, yet strangely melodic, landscape, that’s barren on the surface and yet rich and vibrant to its core with Boyle fleshing it out with ghostly notes and textures.

The first of three tracks with vocals, Tell You Something, does and doesn’t. It opens with a steady rhythmic pulse, accentuated by what sounds like a xylophone being hammered (or it could be an electronically produced effect), and a vocal that’s almost ruefully confessional “the next time that I see you, I won’t be scared to tell you all the things I feel“. Boyle’s liquid guitar lines are beautifully balanced in the mix – not too predominant and not too understated.

He comes to the fore on Chaos I Surrender, another exploration in self-examination, which could be interpreted as both personal and universal, with a scorched earth guitar sound that’s subtle, beautifully toned and billows and echoes with a gentle intensity.

The illuminating hot spot is the final track Ihumatao, which is a deeply atmospheric soundscape that’s both a visceral and empathetic comment on the disputed land near Auckland airport that’s “owned” by Fletcher Challenge, who want to build a block of residential apartments, that local and disenfranchised iwi argue is not in keeping with the historical and cultural significance of the location to them

There’s no histrionics about the way McLaney expresses his point of view - “it’s plain to see the truth is obvious and you know it …. “the first wrong undone fixes all the wrongs that follow. This is the moment of truth” Where he is most persuasive though is in the way he colours it’s meaning and intent. Ihumatao broods, with heavy reverberating bass lines and McLaney’s poignant vocal before blossoming into a quiet thunderstorm of earthy rhythms, eerie guitar lines and ethereal electronic orchestrations. You think it’s going to eventually explode but it retains a layer of tension throughout that cuts a much deeper furrow.

When the dust is left to settle, you’re parched - thirsty for more, not just from McLaney and his next choice of collaborator but also as to where Boyle might ascend on Jakob’s ladder.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Broken Science
Year: 2011
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Mike Alexander

Naircol - Single Review: Turbo Outrun
04 Feb 2021 // by Mike Alexander
In an interview with Naircol, following the release of his debut album Isolate late last year, he put collaborative ventures at the top of his wish list. It seems Santa Claus came calling in the form of Canadian producer Tokyo Rat, the result of which is the dynamic driving anthem Turbo Outrun.
Claire Cowan - Composition Review: Hansel and Gretel
16 Dec 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel is, ah, rather 'grim' to say the least. It’s the story of a brother and sister who get lost in the woods and are befriended by a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made out of sweet things, most notably gingerbread.
Mahoney Harris - Single Review: The Shifting of the Light
19 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
There's an evocative image conjured up early on in The Shifting of the Light that beautifully illustrates the underlying theme of letting go. In referring to "paradise ducks made for life returning to their bowers time after time" singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris might well be talking about 'soul-mates' or a similarly intimate relationship that felt as if it was meant to last but didn't.
Eden Iris - Single Review: I Just Can't Turn It Off
12 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Having exorcised a few ghosts, so to speak, on her soul stirring 2018 EP Demons, Eden Iris is finally set to release her debut album next year. It’s been an age since the now LA-based, singer-songwriter first came to national attention through Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange competition.
Lou'ana - Album Review: Moonlight Madness
29 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The official release date for Lou'ana's debut album is October 30. Whether by design or accident, it’s serendipitous.
Raw Collective - Single Review: Good Things (All We Need)
22 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Feel-good grooves are part of Raw Collective’s DNA. The Wellington-based 10-piece have been sowing sunflower seeds of optimism and cheerfulness for many a year now and it seems the well of goodness never dries.
Naircol - Album Review: Isolate
16 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Naircol is Tauranga-based synthesiser whizz Matt Hennessey. I like that it is an anagram of clarion because this is quite the impressive calling card.
Bartells - EP Review: Let's Go
08 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Sam Bartells has a way with words. In an interview with Darryl Baser from Muzic.
View All Articles By Mike Alexander

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Olivia Rodrigo
    Lil Tjay feat. 6LACK
    Glass Animals
    Niko Walters
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
    The Kid LAROI
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem