Friday, February 13, 2009

The River Hymn- The River Hymn

The River Hymn
The River Hymn

The River Hymn is the full length self-titled EP for experimental rock gospel-esque group The River Hymn, which consists of Morgan Bierlein on vocals/synth, Colin Colby on guitar, Justin Filor on fretless bass and Miles Landry on drums. Comparable to a more soulful Beth Gibbons (lead singer of British trip hop group Portishead), singer Morgan Bierlein’s ethereal vocals are complemented nicely by penetrating bass riffs, mesmerizing guitar and rhythm drums.

The album begins with “In The Water,” an instantly inviting and dreary track evocative of an early Janis Joplin cut. Bierlein’s emotive, whispery vocals see-saw from a soft gentle cooing to a climactic howl throughout the track. “One Eye Open” begins with soft guitar riffs a low key bassline, stiff rheumatic drums and Bierlen crooning “she’s passed out in the passenger seat again, with one eye open.”
Midway Colby, goes into an unsettling epic guitar tangent which convenes with Bierlein’s abrupt wailing almost instantly. “Procession,” is an instrumental piece that remains actual to its title by coming across sad, yet sexy, and provoking a mental image of a funeral procession. The track begins and remains consistent with the slow drumbeats, weepy accordion and melancholy guitar riffs.

The art featured on the eight track album is made up of five intertwined owls atop edifice-like rocks in the three sole colors of red, white and black. The band’s name is on the bottom right in all caps. The back of the album, also consisting of the before mentioned colors, features a female statue flanked by three shadows, which appear to be bears or rabbits. A flock of birds flies across the “bears” and statue.