THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION The Spell (Touch And Go)
A San Diego quintet, The Spell is The Black Heart Processions fifth album. Their music sounds not unlike Espers dark, gothic acid folk mantras of threat and foreboding given a marginal pop makeover. Fans of, say, The Cures doom trilogy wouldnt find this too far outside their orbit, Id guess.
Not Just Words provides chinks of light in the grey, and The Letter sounds like a trip to the darker, shadowy end of Doc Pomus Lonely Avenue. The Waiter #5 is all eerie, icicle piano and whirling effects that could probably trace their DNA back to Hendrixs Moon, Turn The Tides Gently, Gently Away. GPS is arguably the albums juddering, thumping, near-motorik peak, hammering out a warning like Radiohead at their most apocalyptic.
If The Black Heart Procession have a flaw, its perhaps that their very consistency counts against them: if you like or dislike one track on The Spell, its almost a certainty that youll feel the same way about the rest of it. Perhaps it has something to do with the lyrical references to webs in both of the first two tracks, or the way that every song seems to have an air of finality about it, but the component parts of The Spell are far more arresting scattered amongst a playlist (something thats delightfully easy to do thanks to Touch And Go thoughtfully including a special code to access an MP3 download of the entire album with my vinyl copy) than stacked up in a row.