The five-man band (Kyle Hancock on drums; bassist Sean Craffey; guitarist Andrew Mackenzie; Cory Mahoney on guitar and keys; Ryan Thaxter on vox/keys/melodica) crafted Avoid The Pier themselves; apart from some tasty bits of trombone from guest Kevin Sennott on the aptly-named opener “The Take Off” and the snaky drift of “Serpent”, this is Dubbest at the controls, folks. (Bassist Craffey is credited with the album’s recording and engineering, while the actual mixing and dubbing is listed as a band effort.)
Tunes range from brief visitations to scenes and vibes (the melodica vapors of “Nightcrawler”; the shapeshift modulations of “Dub 42”) to fully-formed touchdowns on various grooves. “Sit Tight” is a confessional of love with lyrics painting pictures as vivid as the music. Thaxter’s unsettled vocals on “Tall And Grown” are complemented with appropriate drama by the dub-shaped landscape beneath his feet. The two parts of “Liars Tree” take their time to think things through with the distinctive percussive mutterings of a clavinet in the background. “Warm Wind” offers up hope and sunshine; “Saturate” is flavored with a bit of funk; “Desert Storm” throws a few flecks of curry powder into the mix with a mid-tune rhythm change-up to keep things properly stirred.
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