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Resplandor – Tristeza

Resplandor – Tristeza

Originally from Lima, Peru, Resplandor are a shoegaze/dreampop outfit that now bases itself in Netherlands. For Tristeza, the bands fourth album, Resplandor have managed to leverage upon some impressive help. Most notably ex-Cocteau Twin and now ambient master Robin Guthrie has mixed and produced the album. I believe Guthrie has worked with the band before. He also plays bass here while Slowdives Simon Scott mastered the album.

With such luminaries on board we could be forgiven for anticipating something very 1993. Cocteau Twins were leaving 4AD at that time, hitting their coffee table phase on Fontana while Slowdive picked up the ‘ethereal’ baton for Creation. The burning question then is therefore whether Resplandor sound a bit like either band? Well, no and yes. Tristeza certainly recalls that era. We get those fizzing, high octane guitars and wistful boy/girl vocals that were eponymous in the heyday of shoegaze. This is surging, wall of sound stuff. It also sounds fresh and modern and would go alongside stuff like Pinkshinyultrablast or Blankenberge.

Where I have a slight issue is around pacing. Put bluntly, there isn’t any variation here. The album goes off like the clappers and stays that way. ‘Reverie’ is a highlight as is opening track ‘Blue’ (see video attached below). Yet the rest of the album feels largely in the same vein. As such, we can say it’s consistently great but ennui did kick in fairly quickly for me. The title track is impressively chiming and swirly – I’m getting Lowlife vibes as well as those gazer FX. Yet we’re only three songs in. I just needed Resplandor to shift gear a bit. Show me something else. However if anyone’s in the mood for 45 minutes of guitar afterburners this is the record for you. Overall a positive experience.

Out as dowwnload, CD or Vinyl.