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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, May 1st, 2017

January Zero: The Long Radio Silence

January Zero
The Long Radio Silence
(self-released)

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January Zero, a musical collective created by multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/producer Gareth Phillips, presents its latest, The Long Radio Silence. The album opens with “Gravity,” a jangly acoustic guitar number built over drummer Dan Piccolo’s laconic back beat. A tune like “Going Quietly” mines a layered acoustic vein, with Phillips’ talking vocals at times reminding me of Harry Chapin as much as David Gilmour singing those more pastoral, older Pink Floyd numbers. The instrumental “Desperation Shuffle” with Piccolo manning rim shots, presents what for me is the best tune here. Phillips shows solid production and playing prowess; synth slips in, as does an overdriven electric lead. It might be as much that this is a well-written tune, as it is so unlike lots of the others here that caused me to prick up my ears on this one, but I like it a lot. “After Christmas” has some jaunty string strikes, again Piccolo managing some solid, yet slightly subtly odd snare work around sweet lyrics. “Decrescendo” ends the album, a tune with that roiling acoustic guitar thang again, but with a slight menace to the lyrics. It might actually be Philips’ best of the non-instrumental songs here. Noelle Beverly doubling on the vocals adds another haunting aspect, as do the noises at the tail end. The tune might overstay its welcome, the key lead and electric guitar lead moments come a little too late, but overall this is one great ender to a solid whole that wraps you up in the deep, rich blanket of its possibilities.

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January Zero: The Long Radio Silence