press : [Review] : MPNnow - L. David Wheeler - 10.29.09

DISC-OVERIES: "Down About the Ceiling" by Tranquilatwist

By L. David Wheeler
Oct 29, 2009

Rochester, N.Y. — Most of the eight tracks on Tranquilatwist’s new disc “Down About the Ceiling” deal with relationships — in various states of turmoil and decline, but with a desperate determination to hang on, to perservere and preserve, to pick up the pieces ... even when it seems, as in the track “Collapse,” that it’s been “broken beyond all restoration.” Both the relationship, and one’s peace of mind.

From “Charade”: “I’m sick of pretending that nothing is wrong/And hiding my feelings from you/I’ve lost my desire to try to stay strong/My breakdown is long overdue ...”

If these variations on a theme were coming from, say, a solo acoustic-guitar-wielding, collegiate singer-songwriter, it could maybe get tiring after four or five tracks. But that’s not the case with the Rochester-based alternative band Tranquilatwist, consisting of Karlie Cary, Anthony Ianni and David Michael. Tranquilatwist gives each song an individual stamp through lush, distinct arrangements; flourishes and atmospheric elements reminiscent of bands such as Pink Floyd; guitars that know when to provide a melodic bed for reflection, when to provide an ominous undercurrent and when to cut and slice and punctuate the singer’s confusion ... and, of course, the soulful, breathy voice of Karlie Cary, who ably conveys a woundedness that maintains a sense of hope. And, as the album progresses, a sense of groundedness, acceptance — even, in the final track “Time Capsule,” expanded consciousness, in which “my body’s in motion, my mind’s at play ...”

The band officially releases the CD Friday, Oct. 30, at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St., Rochester, during the “Devil’s Night Fetish Masquerade.” The 10 p.m. show (doors open at 9) also features Bitter Flesh Thing, HELLFIRA, Silent Auction and DJ Darkwave. Admission: $15, $10 advance.