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AEREOGRAMME - "A Story in White"

Album Review


     Some folks don't understand how confusing and elaborate Life is until they gobble a few hits of LSD.  Only then do they realize the many turns, loops, flips, dips, slips, twists, tunnels, reverses, sideways thrusts, and all the other thrills of the Ride.  A head full of acid isn't the only path to this epiphany, but such wisdom is difficult to explain.  Rare is the instance that someone successfully conveys even the slightest complexity of the Roller Coaster, but it does happen every once in a while: Vincent van Gogh did it with his various portraits and sketches; Duane Michals did it with his photography; and Paul Thomas Anderson did it with his film "Magnolia."  The newest addition to this artistic elite is Scotland's Aereogramme, who have captured the sensations of Living and herald the experience through a trip called "A Story In White."

     "The Question Is Complete" begins the journey with a perception similar to that of a fetus on his birthday- chaotic and scrambled- pushing his way out to the light.  The song suddenly becomes tranquil, and Craig B. adds his surprisingly soft vocals to the mix. Craig also moves his guitar erratically - throughout the album - from loud to quiet, in a pattern as unpredictable as Life.  Backed by the impressive precision of Campbell McNeil on bass and equally dynamic drums of Martin Scott, Aereogramme breaks every mold apparent, incorporating a piano and various strings as the session proceeds.

     The brilliance of "A Story In White" is not exclusive to its sound, as the lyrics are even more potent.  "Hatred" prays "The hatred is rising, but I hope that I'm stronger than this," while the fervor of  "Something beautiful fell into my life ('Sunday 5:32')" strikes a romantic zeal that makes me want to fish through my couch for enough change to afford an excuse to head over to the News And Photo Shop and flirt with the beautiful vixen working behind the counter.  Indeed, as in "The Art Of Belief," I could profess "I am weak at the thought of you."  "Descending" leads into a deep cavern while Craig is "Looking for something that God only knows."

     From start to finish, this album is an incredible piece of art, effectively relating how it feels to be Alive.  To top it all off, this is Aereogramme's DEBUT ALBUM.  What now?  What's next?


STARS: 4 / 5


This originally appeared in Privy Magazine on January 2, 2002.

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