Saturday, 7 April 2012

Album review: GABRIEL & THE HOUNDS - Kiss Full Of Teeth

Highlights: What Good Will That Do?, Wire And Stone, The World Unfolds, Talk Of The Town

A young musician from Brooklyn, Gabriel Levine, is the driving force behind this one. The question is, why the hounds? Well, apparently the hounds come from Levine’s fascination with Kate Bush and specifically her classic 1985 album, Hounds Of Love. But before you dismiss this half-assed allusion, I would just like to say that the allusion makes perfect sense. 

This is pop music filled with intricacy and slow-burning intensity – the kind every Kate Bush admirer would appreciate.

Now speaking of the actual music, Kiss Full Of Teeth has a peculiar sound. Almost every track features an acoustic guitar and a pretty, but somewhat elusive melody. But that’s not all – the album’s special charm/edge comes courtesy of tasteful orchestration which underpins the larger portions of the album. 

It’s a lovely, strangely deep sound, and the melodies are always more than they seem. Mostly folk-ish, complex-sounding ballads, but there’s also a brilliant Velvets-like groove on the driving “The World Unfolds” that brings some necessary diversity.

My biggest complaint is the album’s length. It’s short. 11 songs, including 3 brief (if nice) instrumentals. But in truth it only means that Kiss Full Of Teeth is totally devoid of filler; the whole thing is just a lovely little artsy outing.


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