Spring Tides CD - Monotreme

On its sophomore full-length release Spring Tides, Sweden's Jeniferever put more muscle into the band's multi-genre directions that fuse ambient rock, post-rock, shoegazer and dream-pop, in the process penning the group's most accomplished album. Opener "Green Meadow Island," which bridges between My Bloody Valentine territory and moody rock, and vibrant "Concrete and Glass," effectively use strings and expansive choruses, but otherwise strain to find a successful approach. However, "Ox-Eye" shows Jeniferever gaining the upper hand, with half-spoken vocals, reverbed bass, gauzy guitar, and tenacious percussion combining to a roaring glide that reaches a raucous crescendo that rings with Sigur Ros strength.

The previously issued "Nangijala," the leading cut on a 2008 EP, is also a welcome addition: the epic, nine-minute piece builds around a cinematic, wintry axis supported by layered, heavy-lidded guitars, fluorescent keyboards, and a cloudy trumpet that flows atop Kristofer Jonson's soft-loud voice that can eerily mimic Conor Oberst. While the massive crunch of the ensemble's clamorous songs attain a tempest beauty, Jeniferever proves capable with milder material, particularly with the piano-laced ballad "St. Gallen," a suggestive, mannered missive that showcases a somber side that affirms elegance can be just as potent as detonation. Jeniferever closes with the title track, which has an unfaltering sense of tranquility similar in disposition and tone to debut, Choose A Bright Morning, thus giving fans something familiar to end the proceedings with.

By Doug Simpson



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