Simulacrenfield rearranges the vision set forth in previous Parlour releases, utilizing the septet for all it's worth. The songs are tighter, heavier, and more melodically complex than ever before ? no doubt partly contributed to the addition of Jon Cook (Crain, Rodan) on drums, and Breck Pipes (Cerebellum) on guitar. Furnish, Cook and Pipes ? along with longtime Parlour member Steve Good (The Web, Sapat) ? have a rich and storied musical history, having played in bands together in their hometown of Louisville, KY since the late 1980s. That familiarity and inherent musical dialogue with one another can be heard throughout Simulacrenfield; the rhythm section in a tight pocket while the guitars, keyboards and brass section trade sharp melodies and chugging riffs. Imagine a heavier, more disturbing Neu! with more unexpected twists and turns (and that's just the jumping-off point).
Parlour: Hives Fives
For Hives Fives, Parlour ditched the laptops, broadening instrumentation and expanding into a seven-piece. The result, as desired: bigger beats, stronger melodies, and a more organic sense of composition. Bass and drums lock into Neu!-like grooves, while an array of keyboards and long-time member Connor Bell's (Shedding) guitars swirl in all directions; saxophone and bass clarinet layer thick drones at the very heart of the sound, cementing the instrumental density that is Parlour's trademark. Replacing computers with live players lends each song a newly warm-blooded adrenaline rush, a relentless forward motion that doesn't let up. No longer just a solo vehicle for Furnish, Parlour's contributors make the group greater than the sum of its parts. With a sound like Sonic Youth on a sugar high, or a Krautrock !!!, or soundtracks to the best TV shows you never saw, Parlour are making the most vital, interesting music of their long career. And nine years in, the Hives Fives EP gives us a strange feeling that the best is yet to come.
Following up their stunning debut, Octopus Off-Broadway mere months after its release, Parlour kills the notion of a sophomore slump by smacking you in the face with another brilliant endeavor while most critics are still contemplating words to describe the first album. Googler continues the meditative flow of synth-laden drones, crystalline guitars and dense rhythms, but a dark wind blows through the album to reveal the band's angular aggression. Having helped plant the seeds for the sprawling array of musical inspiration that is Louisville, KY, Googler sees Parlour blooming vibrant new shades of a favorite color. And the best is yet to come.
Parlour: Octopus Off Broadway
Recorded over a four year period in various home studios, Parlour combines gentle circular guitar chords, warm synthetic washes and confident, down-tempo drum beats to create a truly meditative rock experience. With a certain krautrock leaning ala Can and This Heat, Tim Furnish (formerly of Crain, Aerial M and The For Carnation) leads the groove all the way to the edge without falling into monotony. The rhythm section is the dense, tightly wound cord pulling the heavy load along with comfortable ease. The many subtle details of this album take dozens of listens to fully reveal, which is perhaps part of its unexplainable addiction. It all seems pretty simple at first, then the grooves and melodies begin to haunt you. Like a good friend recently told us, "This record is so weird and beautiful, it might just be absolutely brilliant." We couldn't offer a better explanation if we tried.