|The Unwinding Hours ~ CD Ref: CHEM132 CD|
Album Of The Month
After the frustrating demise of Aereogramme under the pressure of the commercial flatline, any return to the music industry for singer Craig B and guitarist Iain Cook was always going to be tentative, guarded even. Now back in the public glare with this self-titled album, it must be a relief for all concerned that it was indisputably worth it.
Because - at the risk of further upsetting any grieving Aereogramme fans - The Unwinding Hours is a step forward. Where Aereogramme could be overblown, The Unwinding Hours are measured and mature, without sacrificing one iota of the magnificent heartbreak that defined the appeal of their former outlet.
You may already have heard Knut, a gorgeous, simmering number that builds and builds over the simple refrain, "if we can, we will, we must, get out". It's followed by another standout track in Tightrope, with Cook's compositional talents evident in the strident, string-backed chorus. The album ends aptly on The Final Hour, a song written during Aereogramme's final US tour. After a fragile three-minute intro, the futile pain that accompanies the sudden metronomic blasts of white noise is palpable.
The Unwinding Hours may have originated in a time of soul-searching, but somehow they have turned this torrid ending into a truly remarkable new beginning.
Nick Mitchell [5/5]