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Boomkat Product Review:
Possibly the closest thing the UK has to its very own version of Espers, Starless & Bible Black return, this time on Static Caravan, having previously released their eponymous debut on Locust. The Mancunian group retreated to a village hall nestled somewhere within the Snowdonian mountains to record this album, and they sound on better form than ever before, lacing their Pentangle-style folk-rock fusions with piercing strands of analogue synth and some seriously dextrous rhythm section arrangements (particularly on the ace 'Popty Ping'). Helene Gaultier's lead vocal is marvellous throughout the album, but it is very Meg Baird-like, and yet all those recurrent Espers comparisons tend to fall flat when this band hit their stride: the album's centre-piece, 'Les Furies' is especially worthy of note, propelling the band into an Acid Mothers Temple-like prog/psych racket that just gets better and better as its nine jammed-out minutes roll along. Finally 'Year Of Dalmations' soars off into David Gilmour heaven with an extended blues-rock guitar solo. Highly recommended.