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Cautionary Tales - Single Review: No Funeral Blues

19 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

Cautionary Tales are a multi-international band in that they are mostly based in Berlin, as well as Aotearoa and NYC and feature Will Marshall (vocals, keyboards), Karl Weber (guitar, backing vocals), Martyn Matthews (synthesizers, Rhodes, Hammond), Taylor Mallo (bass) and David Binnie (drums), with contributions from Kyle Hussa-Lietz (guitars). They describe themselves as an art rock collective, and to me that is a fair description although in many ways they are more in the krautrock mode for the music, with Tangerine Dream being an obvious point of reference, although there are also some elements of Floyd.

With their new single No Funeral Blues, the music is a wall of sound, against which Will provides his voice. I use the word “voice’ quite deliberately as there are times when he is talking, with huge gravitas, and others where he is singing in a trained baritone style. With these different styles and the beating heart of the synths, one is drawn deep inside the music which must be played on headphones to get the full benefit.

I know this is a single from the forthcoming album, but it is better to treat this just as a taster for the main event as this is never going to be played on popular radio, as in some ways it is quite maudlin, and is at a sedate pace (as well as being more than five minutes long). This is a nice introduction, with the drums not even making an appearance until more than four minutes in, providing a solid build. Interesting stuff.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Cautionary Tales

Cautionary Tales is an experimental art-rock collective, based in Berlin via Aotearoa and NYC. Fronted by Will Marshall, a songwriter with a swaggering baritone, Cautionary Tales work with a palette borrowed from contemporary art-rock, Greek myth, modernist poetry, the weirder edges of electronic music, indie pop and post-punk.

The phrase “cautionary tales” describes one of the fundamental types of story-telling; the story that tells us “what not to do”. With roots in folklore and myth, these stories are found in everything from fables, to epic Greek poetry, to modern horror films, exploring the myriad ways life can go terribly or comically wrong.

Rooting their story-telling in this ancient form, Cautionary Tales' debut is a surrealist blend of disparate musical influences. Often spacious and sometimes bitingly aggressive, they move seamlessly between post-rock compositions, tight garage-rock grooves, and deep trip-hop, painting vivid backdrops to Will’s blackly comic narratives.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Cautionary Tales


Cautionary Tales
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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