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Penny Black Music [Es]: Slow Changes [Review]

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Band:Lightning in a Twilight Hour 
Title:Slow Changes 
Reviewed By:Anthony Strutt 

Release Date:2015 


This debut release appears on limited-to 500-only clear vinyl with a free once-only download. I was under the impression from sources close to Bobby Wratten that he had retired from music, but it seems not. Lightning in a Twilight Hour is his new band in which he is joined by fellow band mates from several previous projects. Both Michael Hiscock and Anne Mari Barker-Davies hail from Sarah Records legends, the Field Mice. Ian Catt, his long-time producer, plays keyboards, while Trembling Blue Stars Beth Arzy also joins in. 

The sleeve gives nothing away at all. If anything, it makes you scratch your head. Once opened you will find a lovely clear 10 inch vinyl record which has two sides (of course), but both sides are completely different from one another. 

Side 1 is the commercial side, opening with 'Everybody Talks about the Weather', which, rather smooth and gentle, reminds me of 'Weather With You' by Crowded House. It is truly slowed right on down, but when it does open up it is as glorious as something by the Smiths. It envelopes you and keeps you warm and comfy. 

'The Death of Silence' is more dance-influenced and is as funky as New Order, while the vocals from Bobby remind me of Ian Broudie. Despite its 80's influences, it still sounds modern and fresh. 'Ancient Fiction' is almost a love song to the Cure if you get the reference points, and it put a stupid grin on my face. 

Side 2 is the experimental edgy side, of which there are four pieces of music, 'Interference' sounds like a sound collage, an art project reminding me of 'Revolution No 9' from the Beatles' 'The White Album'. The rest of this side of music consists of pieces called 'Shortwave Music', 'Tonal Fade' and the closer 'Slow Tonal Fade', which, similar to post-rock, are ambient and atmospheric. 

An excellent mini-album.










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