Cul de Sac
Crashes to Light Minutes to Fall
Cul de Sac has always enjoyed a reputation fit to be envied by other bands, as both innovators and virtuosos. A careful listen to their albums will reveal why: though they explore new territories, they never strand you in alien and hostile surroundings. Like taking a field trip to your local woods with a real expert, the band is adept at pointing out the obvious in a new light. Patterns emerge, making themselves clear with a slight shift in perspective. Take for example the opening “Etaoin Shrdlu.” You may start with the title, instantly recognizable to cryptographers. As guitarist Glenn Jones escalates his guitar work, part surf guitar and part ’60s psychedelia, an errant Moog wanders the background, littering boopy tones in counterpoint to the band’s intent approach.
With most tracks clocking in longer than “Freebird,” this also surprisingly avoids sounding repetitive or in stagnation. Cul de Sac’s studied performances are as clear as a fit of concentration, and it’s impossible to do anything but be moved forward by the instruments.
Thirsty Ear Recordings, 274 Madison Ave., Suite 804, New York, NY 10016