Arguably the boldest and most invigorating spacerock-related album I've received in a very long time is this instrumental LP from Los Angeles-based Red Sparowes, who I've not come across previously but who include guitarist Bryant Clifford Meyer of Isis, a band I have reviewed here previously, amongst their members. They've been around, through various line-up changes, since 2005 when they released their first full-lengther, At The Soundless Dawn, which was followed the next year by Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Red Sun and a digital EP, 2008's Aphorisms.
What's so terrific about this collection is to be found in its vibrant sensibility and its life-affirming brightness. Red Sparowes mix a muscular backdrop of sound with an exciting melody at the front of their music that has an anthemic intensity to it which drives proceedings forward with a powerful vision rippling with energy, but they consistently harness this with an atmospheric sense of mood that is both effective and affecting. In this way, their sound is big, widescreen even, but still retains a sense of constraint and intimacy about it that they dip into throughout the record.
Tracks like 'A Swarm' have a Pink Floyd feel to them, drifting endlessly and effortlessly in an intoxicating haze; 'Giving Birth To Imagined Saviours' rises majestically, almost triumphantly, out of beguilingly delicate beginnings, its arms out-stretched in a joyful ecstasy, all-powerful and all-embracing in its splendour. Lets try not to get too hung-up on picking out high points of a record that is consistently imaginative and breathtaking though; instead I'll recognise that if we have other albums to come this year in this genre that arrive and challenge The Fear Is Excruciating... for its place at the very top of 2010's selection then we'll be doing very well this year indeed.