[sic] Magazine

All India Radio – Red Shadow Landing

Unless you’re published on a big website with a wide reach and large readership, writing about music can feel a bit like talking to yourself. But sometimes people listen. And in the rarest of cases, musicians you’ve written about take heed of your advice. Amazing, I know – and humbling. In the case of Melbourne’s All India Radio , I suggested in my review of their last album The Silent Surf [link to review below] that their music, although gorgeous, was starting to sound a little too pristine and predictable. I felt it needed a bit of life – and the band’s mastermind Martin Kennedy listened! By taking on an outside producer, the band have been able to loosen up and take flight in the studio. The resulting album, Red Shadow Landing , is easily their best yet – and comes recommended to anyone who’s partial to this kind of stuff.

If you’re not familiar with the band, the best way I can describe their aesthetic is Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ minus the vocals, combined with some Sigur Ros and Mogwai at their most mellow. There are no mis-steps here, but best of all are the languid major-seventh chord washes in the brilliantly titled ‘Owlpacas in Flight’, and the wavering sway of the deliriously beautiful ‘Transcede’. Everything builds patiently, but there are more layers of texture and instrumentation than we’ve come to expect from All India Radio, which makes for a much more immersive and dynamic listen.

Another notable development from previous albums is the evolution of Mark Wendt on bass – including at their live shows. His strident playing is particularly satisfying in the build up of ‘Golden’, and he gets uber-funky in the second half of ‘Don’t Leave’. Did I just use the phrase ‘uber-funky’ in a review of All India Radio?! You bet I did!

Hopefully this wonderful album announces the start of a new era for the band, where they really begin to stretch their legs. This is All India Radio at their best. And their best is very good indeed.

All India Radio

The Silent Surf