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Guillemots - From the Cliffs Review

by Rob Nipe

There is a guy at weddings that makes his way to the dance floor all knees and elbows, liquored to the gills, and proceeds to embarrass loved ones and strangers alike. His bottom lip firmly gripped in-between his teeth, brow furrowed in concentration on the "dance", he sprawls across the dance floor as if to beg the question of whether or not he can actually hear the music at all. It is horrific. It is heinous. It is I. I am he.

Pleased to meet you. It was an amazing ceremony and the fish was awesome.

"Trains to Brazil" makes me want to be that guy sober. Walking down the street listening to this song makes me want to add a little flourish to my step, or at the very least do the cabbage patch. The song opens with a booming drum beat through which we can hear the laughing voices of children and the sound of a tape recording rewinding and the chirping of backwards voices. The years fall away and the joy you feel is the simplest, purist feeling you can have. And, if you're like me, you "dance" or more accurately you flop and flail around until someone tries to put a belt into your mouth. About halfway through the song a horn section chimes in and you nod your head along as if to say "Of course that was going to be there."

The rest of From the Cliffs-a collection of Guillemots 2 CD singles and one new track "Sake"-isn't the rambunctious romp that "Trains to Brazil" is. It is more experimental. "Over the Stars" and "Go Away" are both over seven minutes long but utilize the same energy. It is just tenuously spread out over a longer time span threatening to snap but holding up remarkably well to the strain. As this album is a collection of older things, there isn't a cohesive string that flows through the album. Later this year, a new album of all new material is due out that I'm sure will correct that minor complaint. Until then, I'll put on my dancing shoes and use my repeat. Mazel Tov!

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