press : [Review] : Chain D.L.K- 12.2010

TRANQUILATWIST : Down About The Ceiling

Chain D.L.K
December, 2010

Seldom do I go out of my way looking for trouble, er, I mean new music to review but every once in a while something comes to my attention that I can't resist. Such is the case with Tranquilatwist. I was thumbing through the glossy pages of a well-known Goth zine when I came across a small review of this band. It sounded interesting enough to check out so I headed to their MySpace page to give them a listen. Liking what I heard, I decided to request the CD from the band for a full and proper review.

Tranquilatwist is an outfit Rochester, NY, only a hop, skip, and a jump from where I'm at. It's a delight to find a band in this neck of the woods doing something different as most Upstate NY bands seem to be fairly conventional. Tranquilatwist is a female-fronted gothy-dark trip-hoppy group' think sort of Portishead, Hungry Lucy, Collide, Tapping the Vein, and the short lived Violet Indiana. Yet, Tranquilatwist seems to take some of the best elements of this style and fuse them together. The main reason it really shines is due to the amazingly emotive and soulful vocals of Karlie Cary Lanni. In some places she's as smooth and placid as Sarah McLachlan and others as over-the-top as Siouxsie Sioux. (It doesn't hurt either that she looks the gothic chanteuse.)The other two band members, Anthony Lanni and David Michael provide a solid and varied musical backdrop for the moody songs on this debut outing.

'Down About the Ceiling' is 8 tracks (well, seven really since one is only a 46 second interlude) that falls somewhere between an EP and a full album. Overall, there is a dark and melancholy tone to this collection of tunes; more moody than depressing. Sometimes Lanni's vocals are bluesy, perhaps in a simlar vein to Beth Gibbons, but less fragile. The musical arrangements are spot-on for the material- a good blend of guitar, keyboard and electronic work, bass and rhythm tracks; inventive and ominous enough but never overwhelming. The perfect foil for Karlie's vocals. The songwriting is solid too. (I occasionally hear shades of Kate Bush.) There really isn't a bad track on the CD, although some may grab you more than others. Perhaps the most commercially accessible tune is 'Grounded,' but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be 'Charade' for its gut-wrenching drama. I even like the artwork on the CD ' cutesy surrealist goth courtesy of Abril Andrade Griffith. And the CD itself looks like a little black vinyl record. (You can find it at their website, CD Baby, iTunes or Amazon.)

This is very worthy debut effort from Tranquilatwist, and you're sure to hear more about them in the future, most certainly if and when they tour. In the future I'd like to here them stretch their musical boundaries even further afield. But who knows what the future has in store'

(Steve Mecca)