It’s quite hard to believe that Aeon Spoke was formed from the ashes of a couple of bands well versed in jazz and metal. This debut album shows very little in the way of adventure or ferocious riffing.
Aeon Spoke play what can only be described as melodic indie rock (or what is known as indie rock these days). That’s no real problem, although at times it can be a little bit too easy on the ear.
At their worst Aeon Spoke sound like the kind of bands you might find gracing old Fierce Panda 7 inches – the likes of Samurai Seven for example: pleasant enough, but ultimately fairly disposable.
At their best, this is a band that can really soar. The best example here is the earwig of a song Nothing with its anthemic chorus leaving you wanting more every time it fades away into another verse. As one of the longer songs on the album it allows the band more time to change pace and moods and develop the song fully towards a divine climax.
You get the feeling that at times the band have perhaps reigned in some of their more indulgent tendencies to try and create shorter songs that might have more impact. In fact, the more self indulgent they become the better they sound. It’s not often you get to say that.
When the songs are at their most ephemeral and complex is when the band come into their own. Songs like the whispy Emmanuel (all tortured lyrics acoustic guitars and gentle vocals from Paul Masvidal) and the piano led Grace pass by without you being able to get a real grip on them.
It’s the atmosphere in these songs that Aeon Spoke are able to create that just about that saves them from being another run of the mill radio friendly indie band. That said, recent single Pablo in The Park stands out like a sore thumb as a song that makes concessions for radio play. Not that it’s a bad song; it’s just way too safe and lacking in ambition when compared to the likes of Nothing.
Aeon Spoke is by no means a bad album, it certainly hints at a band with plenty of ideas but there are too many songs here that go nowhere or wallow in a sea of bland apathy. Get them back on the jazz cigarettes and the old metal albums and we could be on to a winner.