Crowell, Doles & Quinn – Don’t Look Down (CD)

The opening track on “Don’t Look Down” is one that sets up the rest of the disc; one can almost imagine a sunrise with the skillful instrumentation that takes a dominant place during the first third of the track. There are no vocals here, but the tracks tell more in its instruments than hundreds of bands could hope for with over-emotive lead singers.

Seventy minutes marks the extent of “Don’t Look Down”, and this means that individuals need to turn off all distractions to properly receive the message that Crowell, Doles & Quinn are attempting to imbue their music with. With such long tracks (“Nihombashi” is the runt of the disc, at nine and a half minutes), these artists can slowly insinuate a full plot into the album. Nothing is rushed; a relaxed sound washes over listeners instead of showing a mad rush to the payoff. There are proper tracks on this album but they really mean little in terms of a difference in the styles of music that each puts forward. All tracks are crafted with the same type of open-ended, ethereal type of sound; a mixture of organic and artificial that mesh together well. Perhaps done to allow individuals breaks in what is essentially a very “heavy” type of concert (even though the music is light and airy), “Don’t Look Down” should be taken as one body instead of six disparate parts.

The infusion of “Nihombashi” with a woodwind (it sounds like a flute) and the resulting electronic lag in the track really shows this hybrid sound most clearly out of all of the tracks on the disc; this is the musical equivalent of a cyborg. Like the (as of yet) fictional cyborg, there seems to be a culling of the best factors of human and machine and a combination of those factors into one beast. While there is little possibility that this album will get any play on radio, individuals should perk up and take notice, as it masterfully gives a voice when the arrangements are without. There is skillful creation of tension at all the right points during the album, and individuals should feel richer at the end of the disc, should they actually kill all distractions and listen with a tabula rasa. Three individuals created this album, but this is only a matter of fact; everything works so well together that “Don’t Look Down” feels as if it was created by a computer.

Top Track: After The Wind

Rating: 7.2/10

Crowell, Doles & Quinn – Don’t Look Down / 2006 Suilven / 6 Tracks / http://www.suilvenrecordings.com / Reviewed 15 January 2006

[JMcQ]

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