May 1, 2019
The Angel Pool is a dream-pop/post-rock record that’s drenched in a warm melancholia that’s reminscent of the prettified end of the post-punk spectrum of the ‘80s. Right off the bat, the Stone Roses and Chameleons are two influences that can be heard loud and clear in the chiming guitar melodies on the stately opener “The Garden Ends”. On “Embracing Winter”, the Cocteau Twins worship is tempered with the icy melancholy of The Cure.
The real standouts though are “Sunblush” and “Eskimo Swin”, which bring propulsive basslines and guitar fuzz to the forefront, while retaining the sepia-hued heartbreak mood that permeate the album. And a special mention must go out to the 9-minute closer “Glass in Lullabies” which blends their brand of dream pop with beautifully sculpted layers of distortion that don’t overpower the song structures.
From head to toe, this record is an endlessly elegant and emotional synthesis of everything that was great about Catherine Wheel and Cocteau Twins. It’s possibly also the last great dream pop/shoegaze album of the 90s. Roundly ignored critically and commercially, as per.
As a side note, “Eskimo Swin” was chosen as the album single and promoted with a comically low-budget and hilariously dated, ‘grunge’ style video that made them look like a bad goth band.