Maserati Confines of Heat (split w/ Mercury Program)

[Kindercore; 2003]

Rating: Mercury Program; Maserati - 4.5/5

Styles: instrumental rock, new age, post-rock
Others: Japancakes, Midwest Product, sunnier Mogwai, Tortoise

A split release from these kindred instrumental spirits, (though Mercury Program has, on occasion, had vocals) Confines of Heat is one of those dreamy detours into wistfully, layered strumming that, while bringing to mind summer, make you feel a little warmer in this blustery fall weather. It's decidedly short of being anything particularly revolutionary, but it has understated charms that work you into a benign state of transcendent calm.

I guess I make it sound like new age music, and it is. In the tradition of Air, The Sea and Cake, and Japancakes, what we have here is Indie Pure Moods. Like Eno but with a persistently reassuring surge coursing through the lush, ethereal melodies. Though both Maserati and Mercury Program's audio balm is decidedly more timid and wistful than that of the aforementioned outfits.

Most notable might be Mercury Program's iridescent trance, whereas Maserati indulges in a more traditional approach to mopey, lopingly evocative Mogwai pulsings. I think Maserati really peaked with the meditatively vast sounding of "Closer Than You Know How" on their The Language of Cities LP with the considerably more restrained "A Border Dispute." The Mercury Program steals the show not only due to the fine couple of numbers surrounding it, but the smiling grace of its stunningly elegant centerpiece, "Saint Rose of Lima." The rapturously overpowering pulse of this song will keep you coming back for the solace it is able to bestow upon a weary a head.

Maserati's side is for the soundtrack to the gritty steel worker/hit man buddy flick that The Boss and Eastwood never did. "A cold steel town, running me down, if I could just see her face tonight, not covered with dirt." might be the pitch line. The Mercury Program's side is for the soundtrack to the movie about the bus driver that has the worst work day of his life then comes home to find out his wife not only didn't forget his birthday, but found a place to put the kids so they could reach heights of ecstasy on the Davenport while watching C-SPAN and climaxing at the SUV commercials. It's a feel-good porno with little to no mess. You might cry about how rare it is that you feel this way, but they're also tears of elation. It's a now sort of thing.

(Paramount's been breathing down my neck. I've got some deadlines. It's called "Bus Driver: The Awakening" and Rob Lowe's Uncle Lex is signed on for the lead. So get back to me on this, Mercury Program - wllx)

1. You Give Me Problems About My Business (Mercury Program)
2. Saint Rose of Lima (Mercury Program)
3. A Crusading Theme (Mercury Program)
4. Closer Than You Know How (Maserati)
5. Wires Were Towers (Maserati)
6. Cities (Assembly Mix) (Maserati)