A horrible hack


White Sands

Year Released: 2000
Format: CD
Label: Lotus House
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
This record is so completely different to the majority of music that I listen to that it was initially hard to know what to make of it. The band is playing a mix of styles, sometimes country, sometimes eccentric indie / post rock, in a slightly experimental vein. To say they remind me of Joan of Arc at times isn't to say the two bands sound similar, rather that they share the shame tendency to surprise, and not stick to well worn paths. For example, on the opening track "Prostitute" th Song" the music is rather lovely in the most part, quietly strummed acoustic sounds, with some organ added in, and then suddenly they'll throw in some screechy piano-ish sounds. And the vocals. It sounds like a guy pretending to be a woman. I'm not quite sure I understand the intention there! But anyway. That sort of sets the tone for the album, except I generally like the vocals more on the other 9 songs. Track two, "Julian", is slow and meandering, with raspy "been around a bit" vocals and even some accordion. In fact, to count the number of instruments played on this release would be almost impossible! I am particularly intrigued by "golf ball". I haven't figured out where they use that as an instrument yet. At other times, their approach can compared to the Rachel's, especially on the atmospheric "little miss r.c." where they make excellent use of some haunting piano play. Except once again the vocals get a little strange for me. The lead sounds like a priest taking a service, and the backups are just plain peculiar.

Yet after all that, they are capable of stepping up and subtly stunning you with the straight down the line beauty of "So Far Away", where whispery vocals provide the backdrop to some of the prettiest, twinkliest guitars I've ever heard. Further proof of the electicism of Maquiladora. Enchanting.

On one of the tracks, the band the Blackheart Procession guest. I have only heard one song by them, but I would say that the two would go very well together, and anyone who appreciates BP's music, should investigate Maquiladora. As should anyone interested in a band sticking rigidly to un-convention.

Share this: