The Oyster Murders: Winter Of The Electric Sun
- I'd like to insulate The Oyster Murders from what I'm about to say. So, shields up! It's only been, like, a month since 'dream-pop' has become, once again, the genre which everybody needs to be a part of and already I'm starting to experience a seriously toxic reaction to people shoe-horning the term on to the sounds of bands that have only a distant relation to Cocteau Twins or Mazzy Star. Thanks, I feel much better. Brisbane band The Oyster Murders with their brand of ethereal, indie-rock-pop have more right than many to lay claim to the soon-to-be-meaningless phrase. They've apprenticed in echoing bittersweetness for a number of years now and their Magoo-produced, debut full-length, the aptly titled Winter Of The Electric Sun, is poised to launch itself into the ears of a listening public at the perfect time. Laying the reverb on thickly casts a viscous fog over rock, pop and folk alike, making everything seem ghostly and wan. You've had plenty of chances to hear the haunted pop already: most of these bits of the album have appeared already as advance singles: the Bowie-esque goth-glam of It Might Be Real, the more modern indie-pop of The Sleeper's Heart or the pop-rockier, heart-sore romantic wailings of Signs. There's been a lot to like in those and that's a trend that continues. The quietly voiced indie-rock opener Ink mixes in a glitchy, electronic beat that is welcomely unexpected as it builds to a broad, sighing climax. The dark, synth-rocking growl of The Water In Your Blood is similarly innovative. Both of those are good enough to be singles. It comes as a bit of surprise when you do hear moments that are only filler: about half of Spectre Of A Landfall meanders around off-key and directionless, but only half, launching from there into an anthemic chorus. I can't say I've been hearing big things about The Oyster Murders and I'm even a bit surprised there is so much good stuff going on here, but there really is. Choosing a tune to play you is a little difficult, there's good reasons to play nearly everything right from that opener, to the beautiful, lilting chorus that so wonderfully infects the record's closing moments. You may just have to set aside some extra time for The Oyster Murders.
- Chris Cobcroft.