Venice Is Sinking
Sand & Lines
One Percent Press
Canadian country-torch legends Cowboy Junkies’ most epochal moment was the Trinity Sessions, where the band gathered in a local church, clustered around a single microphone and, caught up in fever of creation, recorded their most enduring set of songs in one night. It’s that spontaneous, holy vibe that Venice Is Sinking sought to alchemically replicate on Sand & Lines: The Georgia Theatre Sessions May 24-28th 2008. Well, that and Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes and probably the Velvet Underground’s third album. Coming off like a Rymanized Mojave 3 or Mazzy Star, Venice Is Sinking knocks out a set of covers and originals that are stately, melancholy, and ragged — like heading out into the sun after a sleepless night of heartache. A pleasant spontaneity pervades these recordings that puts this album above Venice Is Sinking’s last album AZAR. Of the covers, “Jolene” is pitched between Damon and Naomi and the VU (fuck yeah), but I gotta say, their baroque arrangement of Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat” (pace slowed to a graceful shuffle, strings, horns, and sleighbells) almost beats the original (and fucking On Fire changed my life at 17). “Falls City” smolders alluringly with ghostly Martin Rev organ, a head-nodding beat, a string section, and Link Wray twang.
Sand & Lines is clearly in hock to its admittedly impeccable influences — I could name about fifteen albums that hew similar ground — but there is no denying the elegant music that pours forth, like a torrent of tears.
One Percent Press: onepercentpress.com