While impressively big sound from duos is not unheard of these days, the distinct crunchy darkness in Ransom Scenery‘s album Ear to Ear is something different. The Springfield, Illinois band plays with dual notions of chaos and calm, depth and surface, and sweet and sour in one collection. The title truly is indicative of an album complete.
Beginning with a Philip Glass-esque pattern (an element that soon Ransom Scenery claim as part of their own distinct sound) the first track “Slowly Spinning” is a definite highlight. You can watch the accompanying video right here. The tragic lyrical nature of the album is introduced in lyrics like “Romance is a trap.”
The second track, “Driplove”, plays with vocal sampling, and perhaps waits a bit long before a beautiful explosion of strings. “My Golden Shield” is a better example of timing in terms of hitting that peak in a song. This, as well as the many layers that the band seems to effortlessly weave together, becomes a defining characteristic of the album. The experimental equivalent of letting the beat drop, if I may.
“Just Tour” shakes things up a bit, and just in time. The song begins on a much lighter note, and allows an indication of the expansiveness of Ransom Scenery’s talents. Though, halfway through the song descends once more into post-punkish pessimistic territory. The song almost feels like two, with the first a bit more impressive.
The true experimental side of Ransom Scenery shows up in “Holozoic”, and in “Gasm of the Heart (knuckle gloves)” the album becomes a bit simpler, a bit lighter with the multitude of layers. As with “Just Tour” the promising nature of the band’s wide-ranging talents is refreshing. At this point, Ransom Scenery know what they do well, and they do it often. These forays into different territory are fascinating and successful.
Though “All My” is the penultimate track of Ear to Ear, it feels like a summary. Each strength of the album makes an appearance on the 8 minute song. “Pop Scripture” works as one final send off, a little different, a little promising. A cliffhanger leaving an audience anxious for more of what Ransom Scenery have to offer.