Venice Is Sinking
By Chris Homer
Athens’ Venice Is Sinking gets back to business on their
second album AZAR. The record showcases the ambient, orchestral pop sound
that Venice Is Sinking has built their reputation on.
AZAR features an addictive combination of shoe-gazer
rock and delicate orchestral arrangements. Hypnotic, distorted guitar riffs
float between haunting viola and horn melodies throughout its 11 tracks. At
times, Venice Is Sinking’s uniquely timed songs create a pleasing atmosphere of
psychedelic experimentation – as heard on the instrumental cuts “AZAR One,” “AZAR
Two,” “AZAR Three” and “AZAR Four.” Likewise, the grunge-guitar
base of “Sun Belt” that is infused with clashing viola and horn parts shows the
band’s remarkable ability to experiment with two very different styles and still
have a cohesive sound.
While Venice Is Sinking has success with experimentation,
AZAR’s songs with a friendlier pop aspect are equally powerful. “Ryan’s
Song” quickly stands out, thanks to the head-nodding rhythms pounded out on
drums and the clever melodies created out of a simple guitar riff, viola and a
few synthesized sounds. The song also demonstrates the powerful male/female
vocals from Daniel Lawson and Karolyn Troupe that add another level of interest
to Venice Is Sinking.
Later, Venice Is Sinking scores another hit with “Okay.”
“Okay” is more up-tempo than many of AZAR’s other songs, creating a
surprising change of pace. The guitar hooks and great horn arrangements of the
song truly show what orchestral pop bands strive for.
AZAR is a strong sophomore release from a unique band.
Venice Is Sinking proves to be an exciting group worthy to keep a lookout for.
Venice Is Sinking play Kavarna in Decatur on April 3. A copy of AZAR will be included
with the show's $5 cover.