Unsparing Sea
"In The Diamond Caverns"

(Broke.Tusk.Collective 2009)Unsparing Sea - In The Diamond Caverns

The sophomore album from Unsparing Sea, "In The Diamond Caverns," is one with two sides. On the one side, Unsparing Sea create dreamy indie folk that's not quite Americana and roots but yet it can't be written off as such. The band's other side is an exaggerated take on that dreamy indie folk sound that's been beefed up into fuller indie rock. While Unsparing Sea's two sides seem at odds with one another, the band manages to pull it off with the help of horns, strings and, according to the liner notes, a saw.

Lead man J.R. Bennett's somewhat nasally vocals soar and sigh over thumping bass that's been pushed right into the heart of the action on "Diamond Caverns." Harp strings flutter quickly over dreamy opening track "Sandpaper/Sadpaper" while "Here, Here" is a noisy tune up with a lonesome tone before guitar and horns join in for the remainder of the wispy and windy nine minute long track. "Held In Light" takes a more mellow approach with its familiar Western sing-song sound before, again, the bass is turned way up for the moody "Wolves At A Wedding."

Part The Decemberists, part Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Unsparing Sea keep up with their peers while still sounding distinctly their own. On each track, Unsparing Sea takes a big breath and spends the track slowly letting all that air out. You won't notice that the majority of the tracks are dirges or wistfully wandering because of how it's all pieced together into an album. "In The Diamond Caverns" takes its time, meanders, explores but comes back with a feeling of satisfaction.

B+

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