Although I typically don't pay attention to a good majority of CDR releases by different artists, there are some occasions that I hear enough praise about one thing that I simply must track it down. That happened earlier this year when I hunted down the Lace Heart release by Christina Carter on her Many Breaths label. Limited to only 300 copies and packaged in an oversized sleeve with handmade artwork, the music is quite possibly my favorite Charalambides-related release to date.
After hearing that aformentioned CDR and of course this years A Vintage Burden release by Charalambides, I perhaps had my sights set too high coming into Electrice. Purposefully (I think) limiting herself to the same keys and chords for the four songs on this release, Carter seems to have hemmed herself in a bit, and while the result is a very cohesive batch of music, it also lends itself to re-treading the same ground in the course of only forty minutes.
"Second Death" opens the disc and the heavily-reverbed, droning guitar strums and haunting vocals start the release off in an uneasy, but engaging way. Unfortunately, the track really seems to lose focus about halfway through and just keeps on strumming along for another meandering five minutes. "Moving Intercepted" picks up the pace slightly, again starting out with a lot of promise as somewhat vigorous guitar strums and more urgent vocals seem to be building to something magical. Although the very end of the track shows off a bit of lovely guitar and vocal mixture, the buildup is largely wasted in the middle of the track as it seems to fall back to where it started, losing all momentum in the process.
As a whole, Electrice is just one of those semi-frustrating releases. Arriving on the heels of a stunning release (the aforementioned Lace Heart), it definitely feels like a step backwards as the limited chord and key setup eventually just gives the disc the feel of one giant song cut up into sometimes pretty, but sometimes plodding sections. Hardcore fans of Carter and Charalambides might want to hunt this one down, but if you're looking to get started with the group, there are better entry points.