Review: The Lowland Hundred – Adit

After reading that Aberystwyth’s The Lowland Hundred had been compared to the likes of Talk Talk and Robert Wyatt, it was the ultimate no-brainer to accept it for review. ‘Adit’ is a quick follow up to last year’s well-received ‘Under Cambrian Sky’ and builds on the duo’s fascination with the British seaside.

There are all kinds of good things happening on ‘The Hushing’. Whilst the jazz time signatures certainly recall late-period Talk Talk, the worried, vulnerable vocals bring Robert Wyatt to memory. So it seems the press release was entirely accurate. Furthermore, ‘Rest Harrow’ is tender and warm with the minimum of instruments and seagull cries to accompany it.

Yet with little room for conventional song structure there are naturally moments when the album drifts. The sombre ‘Scree Talus’ errs towards the over-ponderous and you wonder whether it’s aimed for the theatre stage rather than alternative music venues. Thankfully, the enduring memory after listening to the record will be a positive one because the last track – the elegant and touching ‘Salt Water Bathing’ – captures the sad romance of a relationship forged decades ago.

Nevertheless it’s an album which could have been a lot better than its promise indicated. No one expected this to be a record full of hits but in its quest for texture and atmosphere, there are times when the overly subtle arrangements struggle to connect with the listener.

Web Sites:
The Lowland Hundred Official Site

FurtherListening:
Robert Wyatt, Talk Talk

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