Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dark Road Window-Radar Brothers

Radar Brothers are the kind of band that are unappreciated because people just haven't heard of them and music critics feel guilty about hyping bands that remind them of Pink Floyd. It's kind of inexcusable on both ends. Their music is typified by being slow, dreamy, and yearning. Former Medicine and Maids of Gravity member Jim Putnam's voice resembles Jason Lytle of Grandaddy (maybe-ed.), and any fan of one band is an obligate fan of the other. Dark Road Window is the standout track from their new CD, The Fallen Leaf Pages, yet is also probably the best song I've heard by Radar Brothers. Their previous CD, And the Surrounding Mountains, is one of the uniformly most solid CDs I own, but I would give up that entire CD just for this one song.

The track begins with a foreboding guitar line in tempo with the cymbals. Lyrically, it is dark. I suppose just like a dark road window. One quickly realizes that this is not Radar Brothers having a pleasant dream. While I can't actually hear all the lyrics, I pick up snippets like "golden creatures of the sea" and "makes the sky go black" and I realize that this is a fantastical nightmare. This explains the foreboding guitar and it's anxious melodic progression. However, the stars of this song are the overdubbed voices of Jim Putnam. The vocals pick up from the guitar and in one crazy Dark Side of the Moon moment simply emerge as their own instrument, sounding a haunting and taunting wordless lament. I will sleep tonight hearing that sound and know that the ancient dragons wait for me as well.