Sunday, September 19, 2010
Land of Talk - Cloak and Cipher
Cloak and Cipher falls into the category of bombastic Canadian indie pop with sonically lush songs and sweeping strings, twisting guitar riffs, and orchestral horns. But, not only is Powell experimenting with these new instrumental elements, she has also called upon the help of fellow indie pop bands such as Stars, Arcade Fire, Thee Sliver Mt. Zion and Wintersleep. The songs on Cloak and Cipher are long and unwinding but none of this seems to matter because of their rising choruses, and the instrumental and mechanical textures overlaying with Powell's soft and sweet voice keep the tracks interesting.
The song, "Goaltime Exposure" escalates with soft verses then unleashes on the chorus with powerful yet soft vocals and dramatic guitar, strings and horns. On the track, "Quarry Hymns," the restraint of the rhythm section compliments Powell's gentle vocals and keeps the song light despite its sad story. "Swift Coin" is rich with buzzing guitar riffs and solos that contrast but never overpowers the lead vocals. And, "Color Me Badd," (yes, the same title as the regrettable 90's pop group) is another dramatic track with soft verses building to a powerful chorus with languishing vocals and sweeping instrumentals. The next song, "The Hate I Won't Commit," has a mechanical, techno character with bass riffs and guitar solos that make the song interesting without losing a pop appeal. Lastly, in "Hamburg ,Noon" Powell's sweet and longing vocals contrast nicely with the electric arrangement.
On Cloak and Cipher, Land of Talk has shown their potential. It is a grandiose sound that borders on indulgent, yet the group shows enough restraint to maintain a tasteful and compelling album.
Land of Talk - Cloak and Cipher by METRO Magazine