Saturday, February 28, 2009

adam mills over at mess & noise has given the new one a listen:

Radiant City’s last transmission, 2007’s limited Judith EP, was a big step forward from the Melbourne duo’s self-titled debut (itself highly impressive). It showed an increased clarity of purpose and less reliance on Andrew McLaughlin and Brad Marshall’s direct influences. The four tracks that make up Terminal Drift are the next logical steps along that continuum.

Recorded, once again, in the comfort of McLaughlin’s lounge room, Terminal Drift benefits from a prevalence of warmth. Everything here sounds huge, bathed in natural reverb and free of the horrors of compression. Without a doubt, Radiant City are now louder and noisier than they ever have been. They’re also more focused, showing a refined sense of economy on the EP’s opening one-two punch. The strident ‘Urban Drill’ is an exercise in perpetual motion, building from practically nothing towards an explosive finale in just over three minutes. It’s followed by the spidery ‘He Fell After His First Flight’, which offers a tightly-wound take on the traditional tension/release dynamics associated with instrumental rock.

‘Auto Centro’ is a foray into pulsating electronic textures, combining flickering tones and subliminal hums with heavily processed drums and guitars. Sprawling closer ‘Man Versus Mathematician’ takes a more circuitous route than its predecessors. McLaughlin slowly constructs an impenetrable wall of noise over Marshall’s deceptively simple drumming, closing out the disc with an almost deafening crescendo.

Call it post-rock if you will, but Radiant City are leagues ahead of the hordes of dullards currently swooning under that ugly tag. And Terminal Drift is ample proof.

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