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Espers - Espers CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.58 | 30 ratings

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2 stars Part of a substantial multi continental "wyrd folk" movement, where even "weird" has to be spelled subversively, ESPERS seems a throwback to the acid tinged psych of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their contemporary counterpart in Germany might be FAUN, and in fact they seem influenced by other German bands like HOELDERLIN and EMTIDI, as well as by JADE WARRIOR's fuzzy lead guitar phrasings.

ESPERS are shackled by a desire to foster a hypnotic state, because most of the tracks never escape the confines of the dirge. They are fairly competent at mood setting, but when that mood is exasperation, the goals may be left unmet. At regular intervals I really want them to break out and evolve, and the album is largely devoid of anything resembling a rich melody. Limited ideas are rewarded with excessive stage time, and some of the drawn out outros really make this album seem like a product of another time, in all the worst ways.

The best they can do with this largely acoustic sleepfest is found in "Riding", with impressive guitar leads, the electronic distortion of "Byss and Abyss", and especially the almost upbeat "Daughter". OK that's a stretch. Like a sports team with too many players cut from a similar cloth, this collection's components would thrive if plucked out and dropped into a compilation of tunes not of their ilk. But together they sport all the appeal of an unbroken horizontal line.

An esper is an individual with telepathic ability, but I suppose even espers can fail to get their message across. Either that or they don't have a lot to say.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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