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Rhythm & Views

The Slow Signal Fade

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Remember the Cranberries? That waifish lead singer, standing on the Irish cliffs, wailing about zombies? It's kind of hard to forget.

Now, imagine the Cranberries, only in Los Angeles, and you have The Slow Signal Fade. There are a few differences: On certain sustained notes where Dolores O'Riordan would add a touch of yelp, Slow Signal Fade singer Marguerite Olivelle keeps things firmly grounded (except on "Counterpunch," where she does the yelp thing), and instead of songs about zombies, The Slow Signal Fade sings songs about how Mary Lou saw birds ("Mary Lou Saw Birds"). In other words, the Slow Signal Fade are gentler and more in touch with their shoegazing sensibilities.

It's hard to find a guitar that's not draped in reverb and chorus on Steady: "Departmental" starts out with an electronic water-dripping noise, and then the guitars wallow in their effects. The opening notes of "Time Machine," "At Least We're Dancing" and "Relapse" sound like something straight off the Cure's Disintegration, and even when the band trades guitars for piano, like on "Counterpunch," the piano echoes sadly. The songs are long and slow-building: "At Least We're Dancing" clocks in around nine minutes, and "The Same Song" pushes the seven-minute mark, even more proof that The Slow Signal Fade are, like the Cranberries, anachronistic in their re-creation of their favorite things about My Bloody Valentine, the Cure and Swervedriver.

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