The Riff Tiffs, festival/snflwr

festival/sunflwr, the new twenty-three minute (plus!) CD from the Riff Tiffs, opens with eloquence and grace. Starting with an undercurrent of drums and slow-motion guitar textures, “Festival” creeps up as everything builds into crashing eruptions, only to calm the storm when Chris Rehm’s enigmatic vocals enter the atmosphere, giving a glimmering feel to the equation. As Sean Hart’s marching drum rings out through the cosmos, Althea Topek’s bass holds the musical constellation together, making it a solid takeoff. Almost six minutes into the first song, and you’re taken through the melodic territory into which these young navigators are headed. And it’s a sound not heard much in our city.

“/” releases an explosion of ambient noise into deep space, spiraling past the limits of distortion pedals, echoes, and black holes. A soundscape to get lost in for a few minutes. A good time to gaze through time, space and beyond.

Before you know it, though, you’re heading back towards the clouds with track three. Coming in for the landing, “snflwr” ends the disc with more of a rock feel than either of its predecessors. The song starts with riffs reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. and ends with the structure of Sonic Youth; the guitars never seem to stop until the final touchdown. Fusing guitar leads, smooth bass, and Curran Rehm giving us a safe ride home with his crafty pedal work, “snfler” grounds us. At least, until the next journey. I can’t wait to see where they take us next.

[The Riff Tiffs are playing 7/5/08 at the Keene St. Warehouse Party, with The Octopus Project, Winning, Andy Dixon, Bring Back the Guns, O Pioneers!!!, Papermoons, The Watermarks, Welfare Mothers, Limb, BLACKIE, American Sharks, & B.]
(self-released; The Riff Tiffs --

Review by . Review posted Thursday, July 3rd, 2008. Filed under Reviews.

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