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Cathedrals

Ten songs and ten vignettes written and performed by Ohio-based indie rock outfit Bel Auburn. Gorgeous songs, sublime artwork, and ten heartbreakingly beautiful stories shape Bel Auburn’s first release into something almost indefinable in its scope–it’s an album, a book, and a journey through the meaning and message of 2,000 years of spiritual architecture.

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2 Comments

  1. -> "jacksontibet" says:

    The First Reviewer This is the first full-length release from Bel Auburn (Jared Crooks, Christopher Meekins, Joey Ortiz, Mark Pepsny, Scott Williams), a group composed mainly of Ashlanders with ties to Ashland University in Ohio, which may seem to be misleading in some respects. The music found on the release is surprisingly mature, and I was pleasantly impressed and relieved that I wasn’t going to have to figure out how to give a positive review to a less-than-listenable album. They could be described as basically modern/alternative rock, and those familiar will probably think of bands like Coldplay or a softer Interpol, guitar driven and rhythmically intense without going all out. There are some definite standouts and only a few low points, which could all but be expected from a band’s first release. “Sing What You Mean” is the high point, one of the stronger tracks musically and the strongest track vocally. Beginning with a mesh of drum and discordant guitar that blend perfectly, the vocals kick in but a deep bass and guitar riff keeps the song moving. Scott Williams plays to his strength here and doesn’t sound like he’s keeping back or trying to sound “quiet”, which he tends to do on other songs. The music opens up and Williams’ hushed, breathy lyrics give way to an emotionally resonant chorus where he puts some strength behind his voice.”Physics for Poets” is another particularly strong track. A rough, abrasive groove is surrounded by shimmery, starry guitar, a contrast that works. The music builds up to a cathartic, full-bodied conclusion that finds Williams yelling the final words.Other tracks show some dexterity: “Hands Away” is a lazy day on a cruise ship as the sun is setting, all sparse, heavy percussion, twinkling piano and distant, sleepy horns. “Glass” is an easy acoustic song, short and sweet with graceful violin. “Bright” is a soulful groove with funky bass, although the chorus is spoiled a little with too much of the usual strummy guitar.While the music is extremely strong throughout, most impressive are the tracks that sound less refined and carry away from the safety net they typically fall back on of pretty, jangling guitar. The same could be said of the vocals. Where Williams lets go and yells a little or shows some emotion is when the lyrics make a dent; it’s where we see the ethereal and organic come out. It may be safe to stay close to the grain and the familiar, but branching out beyond the net allows a band to prove their worth. Bel Auburn show some strong potential to move beyond their comfort zone and become more than just a good local band.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I bought Cathedrals after attending a Bel Auburn show. It’s very well done, the style combining elements of Jimmy Eat World and Coldplay. The music is rich, like a feast for the ears, and I have to say that this album contains some of the most amazing, detailed art work I’ve ever seen in a liner.That being said, the CD is not perfect. The vocals could use some work -sometimes the singer sounds painfully off- and overall sound quality isn’t as good as some of my other CDs. But, if you’re a fan of bands like Coldplay, Mae, Jimmy Eat World, and even Death Cab, this CD is definitely a worthy investment.

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