The Consolation Project, Glaciers

The Consolation Project, <I>Glaciers</I>

I’m not entirely sure why I first started listening to the genre of music dubbed “shoegaze,” nor can I really explain to you in words what “shoegaze” means exactly. I do know, however, that along with bands such as Music for Headphones and Bloody Knives, The Consolation Project is definitely a name that has made me a fan of shoegaze. I also like to think of shoegaze as being another name for what I refer to as “Breakfast Club bands,” which means pretty much what it says — modern bands that could have been on The Breakfast Club soundtrack.

The Consolation Project, from the first song I heard, reminds me a lot of The Verve. People may or may not remember that band, but I really did enjoy their music and felt like they could have started their own sort of genre that seems to be happening now. There’s also a certain element of The Smiths happening in this music.

Confession Time:  I have a bad habit, after living in Houston for nearly eight years, of labeling everything that I see fit to describe Houston as being things I see fit to describe Texas as a whole. For example, Houston has some pretty awful traffic — this is a common fact — and yet I sometimes will mistakenly say that all of the traffic in Texas is bad, when I really only know to speak from experience based upon living in Houston.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I’m going to try and stop making The Consolation Project the poster band for shoegaze now and tell you what I hear going on in these specific songs, rather than the overall vibe of the genre which this may fall into.

One thing you’ll immediately notice about Glaciers is that the music tends to be very complex, very layered. You can go from this sea of electric guitars, drums, bass, and other loops (which The Consolation Project’s Ron Cavagnaro swears are not actual music loops) in the background to an acoustic guitar and vocals within a quick period of time.

I do like that, because it feels a lot more like each one of these songs — individually — is its own little symphony, rather than being just a song sandwiched between two other songs on an album full of songs. It’s not a knock on other bands, believe me; I know they are all hardworking musicians, but it does seem like the time put into an entire album of twelve songs or so by a band-I-won’t-name-by-name is the amount of effort taken to go into just one of these fifteen songs on Glaciers.

All too often, I feel like people want to discuss the feeling of particular music, but in doing so what they’re really trying to talk to you about is the emotion that the song actually evokes in you. This could be something as simple as happiness, sadness, anger, etc. The problem that I have with people who like to discuss music on some existential level is that they very easily forget that music can have a feeling that isn’t an emotion.

For example, the music of The Beach Boys could very easily make you feel like you’re surfing, or at least just at the beach. Music often transports me to these specific feelings, though not emotions, which is how I came to continuously use my “Breakfast Club band” theory, because it’s not so much the emotion or sounding like another band as it is just the time period, both in reality and film. With that being said, you need to also know that music makes me feel like it could very easily fit into the soundtrack of a movie like Empire Records.

Now, a song like “Stand in Line” and its successor “Returning to My Body” both remind me a bit of Nine Inch Nails out of the Fragile era. There are times in both songs, but especially in “Returning to My Body,” where the vocals come off with that intensity mixed with an almost soft whisper that seem to very much channel Trent Reznor in all of the right ways. The music also has this “everything is breaking down” quality to it, which can be found in a lot of the songs in the rather underrated The Fragile double-disc by Nine Inch Nails.

Aside from my immediate delight when listening to this album (and my wife inquiring as to who it is, because she obviously likes it, as well), I really do like Glaciers because it really seems to be a combination of albums glued together as one, rather than just a single shared music listening experience. This becomes especially apparent when you get halfway through the album and feel like you’ve just listened to several albums by any other band, but completely in a good way.

Let’s just say that with Glaciers, every single second seems to matter, and with that you will appreciate this album exactly that much.

(self-released; The Consolation Project -- https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Consolation-Project/99462839837; The Consolation Project (Bandcamp) -- http://theconsolationproject.bandcamp.com/)
BUY ME: Bandcamp

Review by . Review posted Thursday, February 27th, 2014. Filed under Reviews.

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