• Julian Fane - Our New Quarters

    Reviewed by Boomkat

    <b> Julian Fane </b> - Our New Quarters

    For this follow-up to his acclaimed Special Forces album, Vancouver-dweller Julian Fane has placed far greater emphasis on more conventional song structures than its predecessor, with vocals taking a central role at every turn. Fane’s voice bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Thom Yorke, and the Radiohead frontman’s solo outing, The Eraser provides an obvious reference point. But while Yorke’s album was an exercise in minimalism (by his standards at least) Our New Quarters positively exudes epic ambition. The title track sets the tone, with its quietly dramatic Sigur Ros-style post-rock, only for subsequent tracks ‘New Faces’ and ‘Youth Cadet’ to introduce shattered electronics and rasping beats. All these elements are distilled to greatest effect on ‘The Moon Is Gone’, the most successful marriage of Fane’s song craft and electronics here. Almost as good, the neon synths and fiery beats (sounding like they’ve been lifted straight off Bjork’s Homogenic album) of ‘Rattle’ provide another highlight. However, the haunting piano chords and whispered falsetto on ‘Downfall’ suggest Fane is at his most powerful when he switches his electronic gadgetry off and plays it straight. It’s absolutely magnificent stuff, managing to sound profoundly emotive without resorting to histrionics.

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