[MOODY, UNUSUAL AND RICH] Chrome Wings' music exists below the surface of the water, calmly burbling along while it gets warped by ripples, reflecting back glittering bits of sunlight.
At least that seems to be what the duo is aiming for on New Lands. Every sound on this opulent new album has been altered by effects pedals or post-production filtering: Guitars echo through the stereosphere, drum parts are covered with several layers of gauze, and what vocals you can process are mostly lost in the sonic haze.
Chrome Wings members Jon Jurow and Shane McDonell run the risk of turning these songs into an amorphous muddle that would only appeal to a subset of listeners (of which I am a card-carrying member, for what it's worth), but they only skirt that line throughout the album, and that is their triumph. What pulls New Lands from the brink are elements like the Suicide-meets-Silver Apples bass line throbbing through the title track, and the "Be My Baby"/"Just Like Honey" rhythm of "Drip City" that manages to survive waterfalls of electronic noise raining down on it.
It's that combination of the starkly melodic with the droning and noisy elements that Chrome Wings has been working out since the project began. The group has finally found the right balance here and, as a result, has emerged with a near-perfect statement of musical purpose.
HEAR IT: Chrome Wings' New Lands 12-inch is out Monday, Oct. 31.