10 April 2012
listen: out of it and into it
Tall Firs strip everything back to the bare necessities in this introspective album.
Tall Firs formed in 1990. A full eleven years later they finally made it to the stage and a further five years later released their debut album on Thurston Moore’s label. Good things take time, or so we’ve been led to believe, and since moving with glacial like speed things have definitely stepped up a notch with the release of ‘Out of It and Into It’ being their third album.
Along the way they have lost their drummer meaning they have been forced to strip things right back to their original form – the twin guitars of Aaron Mullan and David Miles.
The result is a collection of eleven fragile songs that shift subtly from deep contemplation to moody introspection. Yet, despite the songs titles (cue: ‘Suffer So Long’, ‘Axeman’, ‘Suicide’, ‘Whole Thing Is Over’ and ‘Loss For Words’) there is a real strength and stubbornness that fights through the albums enveloping gloom. The duo defiantly croon “It’s my world, It’s my song, No one asked you to sing along” from the sweet slide guitar infused ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’ and you just know they’re going to pull through.
Any percussion support is minimal and sparse in the extreme – in fact it is four tracks in before any appear at all – which importantly allows the whispered lyrics and intimate guitar work to take centre stage.
If you’re still intrigued but looking for reference points you could do a lot worse than sound checking Thurston Moore’s solo album from last year – the excellent ‘Demolished Thoughts’ – or even the more melancholic moments of Kurt Vile’s ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’.
Tormented and tranquil, ‘Out Of It And Into It’ is ultimately a triumphant “fuck you is that the worst you can do?” salute to life, and the crap it deals us all at one time or another. What else is there to do, but get on with it?