Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency

Published Wednesday 7th November 2012
Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency
Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 124478-19663
LABEL: Tooth & Nail 5099995584324
RELEASE DATE: 2012-09-24
RRP: £11.99

Reviewed by Oscar Hyde

Abandoned Pools are the brainchild of overachieving Californian multi-instrumentalist Tommy Walter, formerly of rousingly alternative and creative mainstream rock band Eels. While Abandoned Pools don't indulge in such extreme eclecticism as that of Eels, 'Sublime Currency''s imagination is still highly impressive, especially considering it's linked to such strong songcraft. The title track bursts with sparkling synths, perfect pop guitar and one of the most attention-grabbing "C'mon!" choruses I've ever heard. "9 Billion" exhibits willingness to play around with dissonance and shifting tonics. "From Long Sleep" is a genuinely emotional quiet duet with Paris Carney. Closer "In Shadows", one of several quasi-orchestral tracks, is masterful in its complete atmospheric control. Much of the material feels inspired by recent M83, but there's plenty owed here to '80s indie Brit rock, 'Cities'-era Anberlin and Swimming With Dolphins. Unfortunately, 'Sublime Currency' very rarely feels more than the sum of its parts; possibly, I'm just a bit spoilt by that stunning opener, but the album seems to spend the rest of its running time trying to regain that first breath of very, very fresh air. No matter - it hits more than enough spots to make this a highly recommended pop/rock album and the overwhelming optimism is just the cherry on the top.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Product Description
Sublime Currency, the long-awaited third album from Abandoned Pools, is the culmination of an eleven-year journey. In many ways, the album tells a new chapter in the narrative of Tommy Walter, the songwriter and musician behind the band. Tommy, who is from Westlake Village, CA began the project in the early '00s, initiating his own visionary project after leaving the band The Eels.

The album, written and recorded during 2010 and 2011, took shape organically, a thoughtful response to Tommy's current life view. The recordings took place in several Southern California locations, Castle View Studio, The Bombshelter and Tommy's own LQP Studios, all with Tommy at the production helm. And ultimately, like Abandoned Pools' d├ębut, Sublime Currency is a unified, cohesive vision from a focused musician. Even all the instruments on the album, with the exception of the drums, were played by the multi-instrumentalist.

"I went back to my core of writing on my own and recording on my own because it keeps the project focused," he explains. "I had a lot of range on the first album and I wanted to keep that going here, this range of styles. The songs come from a long span of time, but I feel like they're all appropriate to now."

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