My Best Fiend – In Ghostlike Fading

inghostlikefading
My Best Fiend – In Ghostlike Fading
Warp Records
February 21, 2012

What It Sounds Like:  This is a tough one; look at the cover artwork and it may give you some idea.  Spacey and weaving in and out of hallucinations, My Best Fiend create a world of guitar-dominant dream pop that’s heavy in the reverb, outlandish in its ambitions of what it yearns to be, but catchy, memorable, and grand in its richness of melody.  The walls of sound have more succinctness to them than a wailing shoegaze act, but still remain more powerful (not driving) and guitar driven than a keyboard heavy indie pop band.

Records like In Ghostlike Fading are tough to fully review, if only because they are more of an immersive experience than a track-by-track album.  They musically feel like a collective work; not a “here’s a single, here’s an upbeat track, and here’s a ballad” – but even still straying away from that idea, it’s not a concept record.  There’s no overarching storyline.  The magic trick here is to make the songs feel similar enough that you don’t always notice the break between the tracks (even though there may be a second or two pause of silence between them; this isn’t seamlessly mixed), but still present new ideas and soundscapes throughout it so it doesn’t seem like one big never ending song.

These aren’t songs.  These are movements.

My Best Fiend accomplish this act of cohesion in magnificent fashion.  Mellow intros build into rousing powerhouse rock sections (see the heaven-sent Cracking Eggs, and it’s sonic counterpart, ODVIP), while others delve into cutting edge 70s “would be” restrained space jams (One Velvet Day, and I’m Not Going Anywhere).  We even get a touch of indie rock meets the blues on Jesus Christ.

Hands down, album standout Cool Doves is a work of absolute, utter beauty.  It’s a Moby-meets-My Bloody Valentine-meets-Athlete-meets-Low masterpiece that will chill you out, pick you up, and make you turn your face to the skies all at once.  It would fit a sunny day.  It would fit a rainy day.  It would fit, incredibly, about any scenario you could throw at it.

Victory.

Defeat.

Life.

Death.

It’s all there.  On a personal level, it resounds more hopeful for me, but to each his own.  It’s that transcendent.

There’s emotion built into these chords.  Don’t enter into this record wanting the perfect hook or a quick-fix.  Spend some time flying in and out of these wormholes, and you’ll surely be rewarded.

8.5/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  Cool Doves / Cracking Eggs

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