Review: Redjetson – Other Arms

Posthumous albums tend be fascinating and flawed listening experiences, where it’s possible to detect the causes of potential conflict within the band. ‘Other Arms’ by Redjetson is certainly no masterpiece but it’s a passionate send-off for a band who have managed to produce a distinctive sound in a crowded genre; think of The Editors discovering post-rock and you wouldn’t be far off.

Key to Redjetson’s success is the performance of their frontman. Although Clive Kentish rarely moves away from his foreboding tones, when his voice chimes perfectly with the driving guitars it can be a thrilling experience. A case in point is opening track ‘Soldiers & Dinosaurs’ where the key changes are engineered perfectly to capture euphoria from the depths of despair. Enhanced by moving strings, ‘Count These Demons’ is a beautiful, heartache of a song and ‘For Those Who Died Dancing’ is similarly dramatic; Kentish even claiming “There is no apocalypse” although the storm of guitars and percussion gathering around him suggests otherwise.

‘First Of The 47,000’ slows down the pace a notch to provide respite from the noise and tension but – unlike so many of their contemporaries – Redjetson are actually better the louder and more melodramatic they are. On the debit side, ‘Witches At The Controls’ huffs and puffs but fails to find a hook. This track ushers in the considerably dirgier, weaker second half to ‘Other Arms’; with the powerful finale ‘These Structures’ saving the record from being a first-half wonder.

Along with Hope Of The States and Johnny Poindexter, Redjetson are the latest in a line of promising vocal-led post-rock acts to disband. A shame because they all achieved a level of greatness in their brief time. Maybe this kind of music requires so much emotional investment that it’s too difficult to carry on producing it.

Web Sites:
Redjetson Official Site
Redjetson MySpace
Gizeh Records Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
Mogwai, Hope Of The States, Editors, Johnny Poindexter

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