ARBOURETUM – ‘Coming Out Of The Fog’

arbouretumARBOURETUM – ‘Coming Out Of The Fog’
Coming Out of the Fog is the fifth studio album offered to you, dear listener by Baltimore’s very own Arbouretum.  As a whole body of work it swaggers along with a slow sauntering confidence; unrushed, slow and thick as blackstrap molasses.  There isn’t much in the way of variability; apart from an occasional piano or lap guitar, almost every song has the staple fuzzy guitar, slow simple drums and solid unhampered bass.  Yet by some miracle the collection of tracks don’t feel in any way repetitive: each, has its own character.  As the album progresses you can really get a solid feel for what Arbouretum do best – delivering unhurried lyrically strong prog-rock with the coolness of a band that knows exactly what they want each song to be.  No feckless loss of control, no extra notes added in to fill a gap when sparseness will do just fine thank you very much.  After listening to the album several times i suddenly realised what this album reminds me of -it’s the mid-nineties, the night before, all four members of REM drank too many G&Ts at their local bar and decide to jam some of the slower tracks off of Monster.  Take a listen to ‘All at Once’, ‘The Turning Weather’ and in particular ‘Renouncer’ as perfect examples.  The album itself therefore sounds like extended jams of tracks that could have made it on to one of REMs most under-appreciated albums and believe me, that is a massive compliment.  Stand out tracks would be ‘World Split Open’ with its driving drums and unpretentious solo which teases with hints of chaos only a few bars away.  ‘Renouncer’, purely because it feels like Michael Stipe’s presence is close by, not only in terms of delivery but lyrical style before the beautifully melancholy and soporific title track.  This is a really strong piece of work from Arbouretum and one I warrant will stay on any mp3 player for a very long time.  (8)
CHRIS BIDAD

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