Pillar Point - Marble Mouth - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pillar Point - Marble Mouth

by Mark Steele Rating:9 Release Date:2016-01-24

It is a rewarding moment when we are able to shut out the world and listen to music without being interrupted by modern life’s constant nagging demands. Some music is destined to be made for these moments.

Pillar Point, also known as Seattle-based, Scott Reithermann, brings to us his second full-length album, a nine-track treat to easily indulge in without feeling guilty. Following on from the self-titled debut and his observations from the subsequent live shows, he has extracted the necessary ingredients to allow Marble Mouth to be the revised starting point in defining Pillar Point’s musical identity.

Absolute credit has to go to Reithermann and the production team on this whole project. This includes Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal) who invited Reithermann to record in his studio in Athens, GA. Also he provided a wellspring of ideas to embellish each work in progress. Drummer Cameron Gardener (Washed Out) autonomously extended up the initial drum tracks and Philip Mayer (Kishi Bashi) provided many surprise additions using his diverse percussive mind and inventory of instruments.  And of course it has been mixed by Drew Vandenberg (Toro y Moi/Deerhunter/Of Montreal).

Immediately into Marble Mouth, first track ‘Part Time Love’ couples a gentle paced interlocked bass/synth groove akin to Daft Punk with catchy dark Depeche Mode flavoured hooks left right and centre. Those of us who have seen the recent Tron film sequel will relate to this opening vibe. Second up to bat is ‘Black Fly On A White Wall’ which joyfully kicks into delayed chimy looped funky licks, sweeping around is a nasal buzzing bee wind instrument, with Reithermann’s android Phil Oakley-like monotone vocals. It seems as though genre blending is not a barrier on ‘Strange Brush’ seductively and seamlessly mixes progressive rock fuzzy riffs, enchanting honky-tonk piano fills, encased in a 1970’s Ottawan-ish guitar/bass led D I S C O groove. Reithermann’s chorus lyrics “Strange Brush paints me in ways that feel strange/cold touch colours that look so deranged” is a great reflection on the varied nature of sounds we are presented with on this recording. With gracefully smooth falsetto vocals, ‘Dove’ is very likely a Deep House track that will see quite a few plays in clubs a with its hypnotic groove and spacious oceanic synth arpeggios.

‘Lafayette’ possesses a retro-futuristic hybrid dance funk feel, with those eerie female backing vocals. Following a brief weather forecast sample intro, ‘Gloomsday’ is so happy and uplifting as it moves along, an antidote to any blue Monday, maybe it was a recalling of intense rainy days in Seattle. Now there is something familiar to the ears if you listen to the quirky ‘Playtime’ …yes, Tubeway Army’s - Are Friends electric?, but it seems as though it has been funkified by Bootsy Collins,  with the late Mr Bowie’s melody lines over the top.  ‘Underground’ is funky glitch-bop meets electro-soul and is guaranteed to induce enraptured swagger on the dancefloor. Final number ‘Dance like You Want to Die’ an appropriate psychedelic slow pacer, shows elements of The Beatles meets Air in places.

Well, there exists in places, unconscious or even blatant references to older artists – many from the 1980’s  - to modern contemparies such as Hot Chip, The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. This does not take away the genius streak and hard work imbedded from start to finish in this work. To fully appreciate a uniquely addictive album as this, do yourself a favour, shut out the world for a moment, pop your headphones on, and place on repeat.

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