Sunday, December 11, 2011

THE DOOMED BIRD OF PROVIDENCE The Bell of the Jardines / The Death Flurry

A ‘single’ suggests a pithy, instantly catchy two-and-a-half to three minute song. A single released in December has further connotations: cheesy novelty, schmaltzy sentiment and poor festive puns. Thank goodness for bands like The Doomed Bird of Providence who cock a snook at such traditions.

Following April's “Will Ever Pray” album, the Australian quintet cut adrift between Colchester and London, return at the close of the year to serve up two more weevil-encrusted slices of briny regret and torment about Samoan princesses, whaling, watery graves and leprosy. Both tracks creak as much as salt-stained timber under sail with elegant aching strings under the wheezing accordian, tolling guitar and the ominous growling voice of Mark Kluzek.

‘The Bell of the Jardines’ has a stately procession with chiming tubular bells and plucked strings plus a brief interlude where the string players alone are given centre-stage that softens the grizzled, doom-struck vocals and merciless drum beat. ‘The Death Flurry’ achieves the same softening through a swaying folky tempo and harp-like strings to alternate with more intense, gory passages. Both songs top six minutes and although chart familiar territory to “Will Ever Pray” are clearly no mere off-cuts from that album. The 'Australian Colonial Gothic' of The Doomed Bird of Providence is fine re-definition of what a December single should sound like. But if you are still struggling with the concept, the band will be re-working some Christmas tunes for Tom Ravenscroft on 6Music on 23 December. Just don’t expect glittery, festive cheer.

The Doomed Bird of Providence - The Bell of the Jardines by frontandfollow

The Doomed Bird of Providence The Bell of the Jardines / The Death Flurry [BUY]

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