Music Reviews
A Collection of Vibrations For Your Skull

Treefight for Sunlight A Collection of Vibrations For Your Skull

(Friendly Fire Recordings) Buy it from Insound Rating - 7/10

Treefight for Sunlight have a hard road to hoe in my listening queue.  Right from the gitgo I’ve taken a dim view of the latest trend in reverb soaked indie pop.  I was one of the few to have less than an ecstatic response to the first Panda Bear record, Animal Collective’s latter day work and the Fleet Foxes debut.  I liked them all fine, but I find I simply can’t warm up to these records.  Something about the distance the production places between the artist and the listener turns me off, as much as I might admire the tunefulness, harmonies, and overall exuberance.  That being said, I’m aware that a good portion of the Noripcord readership has no such qualms and thoroughly enjoys all these records and will very likely eat this Danish import up like so much frikadeller.  I can only state my prejudices up front and let you decide. 

If you ask me, none of those well received albums have anything over the aptly named A Collection of Vibrations for Your Skull.  It has all the joyousness, all the Pet Sounds hallmarks, and yes, all the bloody echo chamber of the best of the genre.  They even do interesting tricks with harmony, like on They Never Did Know, which begins with an acoustic guitar strumming a root and a fifth, leaving some ambiguity whether we are in major or minor; a question only resolved by the entrance of a piano alternating between the two.  Maybe a more representative track would be The Universe is a Woman, with its pretty melody and insistent backing vocals that threaten to take over at any moment.  Or perhaps take A Dream Before Sleep, which boasts a very Soft-Bulletin-esque symphonic flourish midway through, not to mention Lips-ish lyrics like ‘morning sun growing on cherry tree”.  I like the staccato piano figure on You and the New World, even though, once again, the backing vocals move in and tend to saturate the sonic palette.  I don’t mind telling you I find it a little grating, but keep in mind I haven’t been 25 for a while.  And I should note that this is consistent with things Animal Collective has been successfully doing for years.  The closest they get to the Beach Boys is probably Time Stretcher, with its pounding tympani, tambourine and wonderful swirling major 7thin the chorus. 

Treefight are definitely treading on familiar ground, but at least they bring some fresh musical ideas to the party and give it all they have.  While the reverb is turned up to 11 and the backing vocals bleed into the red. I don’t mind telling you it may not get heavy rotation on my playlist.  But that’s just a matter of taste.  I can still admire and appreciate when something is done well.  You probably will too.