Cue Wedding Songs

[Earth Gets Black; 2007]

Styles: post-rock, soundtrack, indie prog
Others: GY!BE, A Silver Mt. Zion, Rachel’s

Coming out of the lively music scene of Austin, Cue have a sound decidedly apart from that for which Austin has largely come to be known. With a level of musicianship very much in harmony with that scene, the band favors a sound more epic and sweeping than most rock and/or country acts. However, to say they have no comrades would be disingenuous, as Explosions in the Sky have been a significant presence for a few years now. What sets Cue apart from even them is the breadth and palette of sounds they employ to make their beautiful mix of classical and rock music.

Of course, there are bands outside their area code that share these characteristics, and this is an indicator of why Cue is such a prime candidate for further dissemination. Their taut compositions are almost uniformly marked by a restless energy that's unapologetically hopeful and yearning. While these songs may have a quiet/loud/quiet structure guiding them (as does most post-rock), how they construct their contrasting lulls and maelstroms is exquisite to behold.

A primary force in their arsenal is the violin playing of Stacy Meshbane, an element as mutable as it is consistent. Her part serves as a melancholy anchor on "Wedding Song" and a shimmering, ethereal elements on "The Last Good Year of My Life." On "Can You See My Skeleton?," she leads the rocking charge as if squeezing out a blazing electric guitar solo, then gradually plucks her way into a sweet, graceful coda.

Guest musicians provide a number of additional ingredients, oboe, double bass, trumpet, etc., keeping the album from becoming too complacent with any one sonic identity. And, as with most post-rock outfits, there's a great rhythmic bed provided by drummer Jason Brister who deserves a gold star for keeping things solid throughout these ever-changing songs. However, only time will tell whether or not this is enough to garner Cue attention outside central Texas. For now, lucky listeners should feel privileged to be in on such a lovely secret.

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