Review: GET LOST by Mark McGuire Scores 68% on toscaeetslakken.comThe Cleveland-based guitarist and Emeralds member joins up with the Akron-based husband-and-wife duo for a collaborative, self-released LP. If you were in a band and looking for a hired-gun guitarist, Mark McGuire probably wouldn't be the first name to pop into your head. There's a distinct chance the Cleveland-based solo artist and member of tweaked-out futurist outfit Emeralds might take your record and run away with it. The two factions built most of these songs by improving upon one another's already half-formed ideas; figuring out where one party's contribution stops and the other starts soon becomes impossible. Trouble Books seem to work in negative space, letting their insect-like electronic chatterings, spare string pieces, and slow-burning, upward-sloping synths litter the calm. McGuire snakes through these structures in a number of attention-grabbing ways, filling the molds with recognizable, frenetic layerings one moment "The Golden Waste" and unleashing a scorching hair-metal wail "Song for Reinier Lucassen's Sphinx" the next.
More by Trouble Books & Mark McGuire
Way back in , Just to Feel Anything was one of my favorite releases of the year, sharpening sounds from skewed, half-baked memories of New Age utopianism and refining them through glowing, bubbling digital acuity and animatronics. Here, again with the Bloomington imprint Dead Oceans, McGuire offers something new, sourcing sounds from evolving synths and MIDI crash cymbals to again grasp at beauty. Much like other MIDI-revivalists, McGuire uses a few of the transparently digital sounds, scattered about the release, to suggest a shift in evolving aesthetics — one that moves beyond the false ahistorical romance of hypnogogia to embrace our digital abundance. But again in evolving New Age fashion, McGuire positions these sounds as if they were the originals, situating everything in the mix with sharp, expressive articulation and some solid compositional chops. Beyond Belief is at its best when exploring the conflict beneath.
External image. Often times, the congregation of collaged sounds seem to speak though silenced after the minute mark. Painters of pastiche, paste recollection, paint reverie. Many of you may have by now picked up on my adore of these artists. And so it continues. The album will be released soon via Bark and Hiss , but for now, let yourself live in the captivation.
For a guy who trades in dizzy soundscapes and bucolic neo-new age meditations, Mark McGuire is a fairly intense shredder. On stage with his band, Emeralds, he rocks out like Eddie Van Halen, even though the sound coming from the speakers could blend into your yoga teacher's chill-out mixtape. For his solo guitar work, McGuire dials down the bombast, jamming out on simple chord progressions funneled through a bevy of effects pedals. I'd wager even Mark McGuire's mama can't keep up with the Emeralds' guitarist. Outside the collective endeavors of the Cleveland experimental trio with whom he made his name, McGuire's issued countless albums of serene, sun-dizzy guitar explorations on limited edition CD-Rs and cassettes on labels like Wagon, High Spirits, and eMego over the past four years. Mark McGuire makes absolutely gorgeous music.
Such is my respect and admiration for Mr. McGuire and his ambient soundscapes, which luckily was reaffirmed on this new self titled LP that dropped recently on the Bark and Hiss record label. The record is filled with the gentle pop songs, drifting like a peaceful river at the bottom of a cavernous valley. The vocals, which I think are delivered at various points by all three artists, rarely rise above a hush and constitute another peaceful layer as the record unfolds over its eight song lifespan. His songs are so emotive and memorizing without words, it seems almost like an unnecessary addition that ended up being a distraction. After a few listens I came around to the fact that, for the most part, the vocals are an excellent companion to the tapestry that the trio creates, and the record continues the impressive streak the McGuire is on.