Treyverb - A Year Without Words

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2016-04-10

This obscure band name is actually a punny pseudonym combining Trey McManus’ given name with his preferred musical approach, ie, heavy on the reverb. A self-confessed tribute to, and further exploration of, the work of Spacemen 3/Spiritualized guitarist Jason Spaceman (né Pierce), the instrumental album perhaps owes a more enormous debt to the crystalline guitar work of Felt’s Maurice Deebank. Opener ‘Jesus Overdrive’ (another titular nod to Spaceman’s numerous Jesus-themed/entitled songs) washes over the listener in a warm waterfall of soothing, melancholic guitar lines, ultimately inviting reflection on one’s place in the world.

‘Twin Velvet’ continues in the fluid style of Felt’s navelgazing instrumental passages, particularly those found on the brilliant The Splendour of Fear (eg, ‘A Preacher in New England’, ‘Mexican Bandits’, and ‘The Optimist and The Poet’).

While ‘Opus 72’ may seem repetitive given what we’ve heard over on Side 1, it’s such a lovely, lilting exercise in delicate fingerwork that I won’t object to hearing more of the same. Besides, some of Felt's best work was their instrumentals (and lengthy instrumental passages), particularly when highlighting the guitar interplay between Lawrence and Deebank. This is music for a relaxing saunter through the park on a summer day or just hanging out in the backyard hammock, watching the clouds form imaginary pictures in the sky. An occasional effects pedal alters the mood ever so slightly to keep you from completely surrendering to the warm embrace of Hypnos or Morpheus and adds a perceived influence from The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly.

     ‘Sunset Stripe’ brings the short (under half hour) album to a pleasant conclusion in a similar vein to what’s preceded. An exciting new venture from the former guitarist with The Drag and King of Prussia and one of our favourite releases of the year.

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