Pillars and Tongues
When I first got wind of Chicago experimental trio Pillars and Tongues, a few petty judgments began swirling in my head. First off, for a band to call themselves Pillars and Tongues, they’ve already set the bar too high. I mean, Pillars and Tongues? That’s a lot of bad-ass Biblical imagery to live up to. Then I thought, they’re going to sound like Spiritualized. As in, this will be music people trip out to and have playing on repeat in sweat lodges to help induce hallucinations.
So after listening to the band’s full-length release Protection, I found myself to be mostly right. The ambient tracks give way to spontaneous clamor and sparse vocals. Semblances of rhythm and melody briefly appear from behind a din of echoing percussion and drones. The loose arrangements come together in bouts of melodic cohesiveness and clarity, achieving several powerful moments on the album. But overall, the songs are too goddamn long.
With an expansive sound and tasteful bits of silence, Pillars and Tongues almost live up to their name. There is chanting. No visions, though.
Give these tracks a listen: Dead Sings, Protection (I)
Sounds like: Stars of the Lid, Low
– Chris Rue