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Willard Grant Conspiracy: Regard The End - Hilfe
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Willard Grant Conspiracy - Regard The End

Cover von Regard The End
Willard Grant Conspiracy
Regard The End

Label Glitterhouse Records
Erstveröffentlichung 01.04.2003
Format CD
Leider nicht verfügbar.
Rezension

Nicht nur angesichts des wallenden Bartes, der Robert Fisher’s Gesicht seit jüngstem ziert, bin ich versucht, von einem wunderbaren reifen Album zu sprechen, einem Alterswerk (auch wenn ich denke, dass der Mann noch viele Songs in sich hat), einer Rückschau, die alle Qualitäten des Singer-Songwriters, Sängers und seines lockeren Kollektives bündelt und aufs Feinste darbietet.
Zehn relativ feste Konspiranten waren bei der Realisierung der 11 Songs akustisch aktiv, sieben Gäste halfen das in herbstlich-leuchtende Töne getauchte Bild vollenden. Basis aller Pracht-Beispiele des Willard-Grant-Songwriter-Folks, der wie kein anderer gleichzeitig Hoffnungslosigkeit und –fülle auszudrücken weiss, ist die akustische Gitarre, stets Lagerfeuer-kompatibel, wie überhaupt jeder Song des Albums nahtlos und 1 zu 1 auf der Back-Porch in den Abendhimmel gespielt werden kann. Drumherum reihen sich zarte Mandolinen-Klänge, klar-schwebende Geigen-Linien, eine einsame Trompete, zurückhaltende Klavier-Akkorde, selten – aber dann machtvoll – elektrische Gitarren-Felsen. Alles klingt naturbelassen, mit himmlischer Leichtigkeit dahingespielt, auf einfach-genialer Moll-Harmonik fussend, wie gemeinsam in einer Stunde kongenialen Leides ersonnen und eingespielt. Aber die Produktion von Fisher und Simon Alpin verleiht dem Klangwerk dann den vollen, glasklaren Klang, der die Filigranität des Ganzen schimmern lässt.In dieses Bett aus gelassener Größe und Tristesse ohne walzende Tragik sind die Geschichten gebettet, die uns die warme Stimme Fisher’s ins Ohr schmeichelt. Wie seine Songs ist auch Fisher’s Stimme von einer Größe, die durch Zurückhaltung noch wächst und für das Erzählen von Geschichten, für das Malen von Wort-Bildern geschaffen is

Review

die beruhigende Wirkung ihres Klanges das versöhnende Element, die hoffnungsspendende Sanftheit. Ihm zur Seite singt Jess Klein bei vier Songs, die mich angenehm daran erinnern, wie wunderbar Fisher mit sanften Frauenstimmen harmoniert und in Fare Thee Well und bei dem finalen-Abendschimmer-Stück The Suffering-Song ist sie – man verzeihe mir das – weit mehr als ein blosser Carla-Ersatz. Kristin Hersh gibt in ihrem Gastauftritt eine beeindruckende Impersonifikation des Ghost Of The Girl In The Well. Chris Eckman’s Klavierspiel ist herauszuhören, aber auch hier gilt: In der Zurückhaltung liegt die wahre Kraft.
Das Album entwickelt sich organisch, Ruhe und leise Melancholie ausströmende Stücke bewegen sich auf den ersten dramatischen Höhepunkt (The Ghost Of The Girld In The Well) zu, Twistification bietet den beruhigenden Moment des Innehaltens, Another Man Is Gone kommt pur und bluesnah, Soft Hand ist ein rollend-optimistischer Augenblick des Lächelns. Die folgenden drei Songs decken die ganze Palette der melancholischen Farbgebung ab, vielschichtige Instrumental-Variationen umflirren die Stimmen in Fare Thee Well und Day Is Past And Gone. Und The Suffering Song schickt uns ins fliehende Licht des Herbst-Abends. Aber das leuchtet golden.
Wie die Vorgänger-Alben reiht sich Regard The End wieder sanft in die großen melancholischen Zusammenhänge von Tindersticks und Wakabouts ein, einige Fisher-Originale würden jeder Walkabouts-Best Of zum herbstlichen Schmucke gereichen, seine von übergroßer Tragik freie, tiefe Ruhe würde manchem Tindersticks-Album die schwebende Leichtigkeit und das Gefühl für die leisen Töne wiedergeben. Aber durch sein bisheriges Schaffen und noch mehr – man verzeih mir die mir sonst fremde Unbescheidenheit – durch das Glitterhouse-Album bastelt dieser Mann ganz gelassen an seiner Unsterblichkeit. Bei aller Bescheidenheit: Ganz, ganz groß. (cpa)

Tracklisting
ûûWith the unanimous, critic-drooling clamour afforded 2000þs Everythingþs Fine, WGC seemed to have hoisted themselves onto a rarified plateau from which the only way was down. After the quasi-psychedelia of debut 3 AM Sunday @ Fortune Ottoþs (1996), the fluid membership collective built around founder members Robert Fisher (vocals) and Paul Austin (guitar) had begun carving a rep as peddlers of doom-laden, redemptive balm for the lost and damaged with 1998þs Flying Low and the following yearþs Mojave. Central to WGCþs black pit of campfire-folk sorrow was the exorcising of demons: particularly the self-loathing and emotional dislocation that had driven Fisher to pills and booze from an appallingly tender age. By (the only semi-ironically titled) Everythingþs Fine, the singer appeared to have reached a place where the abandoned, but ever-tugging, allure of the sauce had been drowned in musicþs cathartic, healing waters. That record - Lambchop-paralleled in these pages as WGCþs Nixon - seemed unassailable. Until now, that is.<
>The most immediate thing about Regard The End is the sheer, bloodied power of Fisherþs voice. Like a colossal centrifugal force, everything else spins around it. In its untethered shift stage centre, it both defines an entire mood and ushers in depths of feeling rendering much of their back catalogue almost anaemic in comparison. On Flying Low, for instance, he was forever vying for space with tough acoustic guitars, drums and studio trickery, so that for every unadorned ûûEvening Massûû there was the distorted vocal mix of ûûAugust Listûû. Even Everythingþs Fine now appears like Fisher was holding back, its more conventional band format denying the space around the vocal which sharpens Regard The End in such dramatic relief. Compared to Fisherþs deep-swamp baritone here, only the formerþs ûûWickedûû and ûûBallad Of John Parkerûû tap the same wellspring.<
>The second point of major departure is Fisherþs delving into traditional folk forms, informed as much by Celtic/European folk as the turn-of-the-century rusticity of Greil Marcusþs ûûold, weird Americaûû. Partly recorded in Slovenia (where Fisher hooked up with long-term ally and, tellingly perhaps, Europe-championing musical flame-keeper, The Walkaboutsþ Chris Eckman), Boston and London, Regard The End stitches four traditional songs into seven originals without exposing the seams. This time around, Paul Austin opts for the þoccassional memberþ card, making way for multi-instrumentalist Simon Alpin (most recently seen pumping keyboards on the Teenage Fanclub tour), who co-produces. With Fisher leading from the front - amongst his peers, only The Hansdome Familyþs Brett Sparks shares the same page - various guestsþ contributions, bleeding in and around the narrative, are never less than consummate. Take Dennis Cronin, for example, likened by Fisher to Chet Baker, adding beautiful trumpet blush to ûûFare Thee Wellûû, or the doleful Celtic fiddle that both saddens and stirs ûûThe Trials Of Harrison Hayesûû and ûûRosaleeûû, or Alpinþs gorgeous mandolin intro to ûûBeyond The Shoreûû.<
>Lyrically, as evinced by the title, death is never far, though this never sounds like a maudlin record. Trad. opener ûûRiver In The Pinesûû turns the tragic demise of two young lovers into an affirmation of unbreakable devotion, whilst ûûBeyond The Shoreûû finds Fisher tenderly intoning over softly ebbing strings ûûIþve struggled long with Shameþs great load/And shouldered my share of pain/To feel the caress of the long black veil/Iþve worked, but not in vainûû. On one level, itþs about fleeing the mortal realm, on another itþs a hymn to the transfiguring cycle of the human spirit (ûûIþm bound to go beyond this shore/In Glory I will be placedûû). Elsewhere, as on the spare ûûGhost Of The Girl In The Wellûû, allowed to breathe over creaky guitar and saw, heþs joined by Kristin Hersh to recount the tale of a 14-year-old falling to her death whilst escaping the clutches of an evil landowner. Pure, classic Southern Gothic.<
>Ultimately, Regard The End is a quest for truth, an attempt to uncover lifeþs harshest lessons however tough, however unpalatable. Often armed only with personal faith as the difference between salvation and the abyss. The stunning ûûThe Trials Of Harrison Hayesûû, in dissecting human failings, admits: ûûMisery doesnþt come from the earth/Trouble doesnþt sprout from the ground/People are born to trouble/Just as sparks fly upwards into the cloudsûû, whilst break-up ballad ûûFare Thee Wellûû (brightened by WGC touring partner Jess Kleinþs warm, breathy warble) intones ûûFaith can heal a lot of wounds/Here at night in this rented room/I look to the ceiling and find a reason/To carry onûû.<
>Of the traditionals, ûûTwistifactionûû (a simpler, denuded version to the one released on WGCþs 2001 collaborative album with Dutch band Telefunk, In The Fishtank) employs softly-caressing violins and the hypnotic pipe of a lonely melodica to enact the tale of a mysterious siren skulking in the deep and muddy waters of a maple swamp. ûûDay Is Past And Goneûû finds Fisher at his most soothing, evoking all the weary contentment of a tired, fulfilled life drawing down the shade in fading light. Conversely, ûûAnother Man Is Goneûû updates the old slave song, ûûAnother Man Done Goneûû (as covered by Odetta and others), into a rumble of whining slide guitar, shivering strings and dobs of piano. <
>Smouldering for the most part like crackling firewood, Fisherþs voice suddenly erupts at 2:22, bellowing one huge, suspended note that slowly dissolves into soft, lonely piano notes to the songþs end. Itþs a nape-tingling, sublime moment, leaving a charged silence that still knocks me backwards after living with this record for weeks. Of Fisherþs originals, closer ûûThe Suffering Songûû may come cloaked in apocalyptic doom, but is the most magnificent endpiece imaginable, Fisher coming over like some great gospel hybrid of Paul Robesonþs earth-shaking tenor and Johnny Cashþs brimstone holler.<
> All done, Regard The End is the first Willard Grant album to truly immerse yourself in. In ditching most of their traditional band ethic, theyþve tapped into the finest folk gothic traditions of death, suffering, misery and hardship and fashioned a paradoxically uplifting, transformative record of extraordinary power. If this is the end of the world as we know it, I feel just fine.ûû (Uncut)
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