Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Tain (The Decemberists, 2004)

One of the most hard to label bands, for this very reason the Decemberists are the proggest band one can imagine. Not only their music comes from unexpected fusions and explorations, but they also like to revive past glorious sounds by updating them with bravery and good taste. "The Tain", for example, is a suite divided into five parts featuring King Crimson's echoes and Gentle Giant's hints, along with a folk soul and a pop freshness.

"The Tain" was recorded in 2003 and released as an EP in 2004.

The melodies are plain and well found, while the instrumental bridges are full of original ideas, clever reprises and unpredictable changes. As always with them, we also find some brilliant lyrics (Colin Meloy is also an excellent novelist) based on the Irish legendary tale Táin Bó Cúailnge, and a lot of literary and cultural references. The way The Decemberists have to joyfully play with such a rich material transforms any moment of their music in a childhood's dream and - that's unavoidable - in a terribly serious matter.