Flying Saucer Attack - "Further" (Drag City 1995, DC69)
From Aural Innovations #14 (January 2001)
Dave Pearce and Rachel Brooks had been searching for a certain sound, and it finally all came together for them on Flying Saucer Attack's masterpiece, Further. Eschewing the thick blankets of feedback, and jangling electric pop of their earlier releases, they opt for a more subtle approach. Pearce comes into supreme control of his feedback on Further, and you can hear it oozing out between the notes, but never obscuring the sparse, pastoral acoustics that have replaced the harder edged electric guitars. Imagine being on a lonely country road at night, surrounded by windswept fields of dark grass. Above, electricity hums through high tension wires, and in the distance, mysterious lights appear on the horizon. Further immerses the listener in a spectral world of half-seen beauty and mystery.
It opens with the instrumental Rainstorm Blues, a foggy landscape of murky ambience punctuated by a distant, siren-like wail. Like alien shapes in the mist, sonic images emerge through the fog, leading into the next piece, the soft, acoustic In the Light of Time, one of the standout tracks on the album. Another standout is For Silence, which opens with the sound of dead radio stations and heavily reverberating acoustic guitar, building slowly through rain-swept, multi-tracked strumming, to a frenzy of deliciously noisy feedback that still seems to retain a spacey, relaxing quality to it. To the Shore is another instrumental, similar to Rainstorm Blues, but at 12-minutes in length, it gives the listener much more time to slip into its darkly rich atmosphere, a long night of eerie sounds, like aliens walking around outside your remote cabin; thrumming, urgent guitars, swathes of melodic notes and spine-tingling washes of sonic dissonance that finally dissolve into silence.
As elusive as it is compelling, Further is a classic of moody space rock and experimental home recording.
More information can be found about Flying Saucer Attack on the web at: http://www.dsl.org/fsa/.
You can subscribe to the FSA mailing list at: http://www.topica.com/lists/fsa-list.
Further is distributed by Drag City. You can visit their web site.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald