Saturday, November 17, 2012

Emeralds - Just to Feel Anything (Editions Mego, 2012)

Emeralds is its own thing, a sound you can pinpoint immediately. This Cleveland trio of John Elliot, Mark McGuire, and Steve Hauschildt "re-pioneered" the arpeggiated synthesizer concept. They inspired thousands of kids to go out and find their own thrift store analog junk, making synths and keyboards more popular than the guitar. But what's equally impressive is the signature electric guitar sound of Mark McGuire, which, I feel, is the best part of this new record.

Whereas prior Emeralds outings worshiped and emulated pioneers of experimental electronic music, this one seems to be their take on late 80's / early 90's action film scores. Boomkat called it arena rock but I feel as though its an unconscious homage to the more upbeat Harold Faltermayer and Michael Kamen (Top Gun, Lethal Weapon, respectively). Yep, upon first listen, its Friday night at the movies. Further in, you recognize some of the other influences, Tangerine Dream and 80's Pink Floyd.  But, here's the thing that's so great about this band: After a few minutes, you forget about this tribute idea, you get sucked in and realize that its actually original material, solid in its own right. All three of these players are brilliant and creative musicians having fun but composing subtly innovative pieces. Many people are attempting these ideas these days, but no one can touch Emeralds.

Read full review of Just To Feel Anything (Vinyl Edition) - EMERALDS on ©

1 comment:

  1. I liked the new album. It's different... but good. I love Steve Hauschildt's contribution to it. It's similar to Tragedy & Geometry, but with Mark all over it. What does John Elliot do? I think Hauschildt has a new solo on Kranky out? I haven't listened to it yet.