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Melted Snow

Release Date:
  11.July.2011 (digital release / physical release in November.2011)  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

I must admit Saso are new to me, but apparently they've been around quite some time. Exitudes, however, is their first release since 2007 and according to the sleeve notes they have been working on this since 2008. I've no idea why it took them so long to complete this, but it's clearly been time well spent as there are some quite fabulous moments here. Indeed, it's coming across hitherto unknown releases like Exitudes that makes this reviewing malarkey worthwhile.

I'll start at the beginning because the opening track, Billion Hands, is a fabulous introduction to any band. Jim Lawler's soft double tracked voice croons over a muffled piano and a booming tom tom, and the track builds beautifully, sounding not unlike Hood if they had a slightly more athletic rhythm section. It's so good that initially there was a danger that the rest of the album seemed slightly ant-climactic, but that concern didn't last long because each listen of Exitudes appears to bring some new discovery.

Other highlights include From Limbo, which evokes Spirit Of Eden-era Talk Talk, a comparison which also springs to mind elsewhere, notably on a couple of instrumentals (Silent Earth and the excellent Cardboard Cutout), whilst Secret Ministry is pitched somewhere between Sigur Ros and U2's With Or Without You. Overall, however, two words keep springing to mind. One is "sombre", but I mean this in the sense that it sounds serious and grave rather than miserable or depressing. The other word is "beautiful". Indeed, there are too many moments of beauty here to list them all, but that piano part that comes in halfway through Sooner Or Later towards the end of the album deserves a special mention. All in all, this really is rather lovely.

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