SPACE ROCK

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - Sean Rabin

BRIAN McBride and Adam Wiltzie be­gan Stars of the Lid in Austin, Texas, in the early 1990s. They have since be­come one of the slow­est work­ing bands on earth. Six years in the mak­ing, And Their Re­fine­ment of the De­cline is SOTL’s sev­enth re­lease. Across two CDs it de­liv­ers ma­jes­ti­cally un­hur­ried drones that shim­mer at low vol­ume and en­gulf the lis­tener when turned up to 11. Like a Rothko paint­ing, this mu­sic seems al­most sta­tion­ary un­til closely ob­served; only then does its depth of colour grow ap­par­ent, its emo­tional weight reach out and its artis­tic merit be­come un­de­ni­able. By in­clud­ing flugel­horn, vi­o­lon­cello, clar­inet and a chil­dren’s choir, SOTL has de­liv­ered more dy­nam­ics than 2001’ s The Tired Sounds Of . Their hu­mour, how­ever, re­mains re­as­sur­ingly un­evolved. The hint of Send in the Clowns within Don’t Bother They’re Here is in­spired. Thanks to each CD pos­sess­ing such a dis­tinct char­ac­ter, SOTL avoid any sense of bloated self- in­dul­gence. For such drift­ing mu­sic, they un­der­stand that pre­ci­sion is what makes their un­der­ground rock so won­drous. And Their Re­fine­ment of the De­cline Stars of the Lid Kranky/ In­er­tia

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