[sic] Magazine

Daniel Land & The Modern Painters – Love Songs For The Chemical Generation

Pooling four tracks from two preceding EPs with eight original compositions, Love Songs For The Chemical Generation drips ambient shoegaze at every turn. As self-proclaimed obsessives of the 4AD label and of Mojave 3, Daniel Land & The Modern Painters sound exactly as they ought to.

Preferring the increasingly popular tag ‘dream-pop’, they meander through Chameleonic soundscapes, dreamy to the point of Slowdive, ethereal to the point of the Cocteau Twins, only without the crackpot effervescence of Elisabeth Fraser. Land’s further preference however that reference be made to their alt-country influences seems superfluous despite the occasional washing of pedal steel.

Engineers’ Mark Peters was drafted in to mix ‘Benjamin’s Room’, and however pretty his Three Fact Fader was earlier this year, the track ultimately suffers from the same indistinguishable esotericism that plagued his album. Its anonymous legacy bleeds across the album at large, for example, ‘Codeine’ is as harmlessly numbing as might be expected.

Nevertheless, obtaining Ulrich Schnauss’s services on the debut single and album opener ‘Within The Boundaries’ was worthwhile, his woozy skills lending an enviable insouciance to proceedings. Love Songs … finally wakes from comfortable reverie with two and a half minutes to go. The powerful closer, ‘Lighting Out For The Territories’, heralds an equal-parts-twinkling-and-pummelling beauty, one tellingly absent elsewhere on the album.

There is a school of thinking that albums over an hour in length should only be permissible by court order and Daniel Land and his happily indulgent band of adopted Mancunians find themselves loitering within these stigmatic brackets of obesity, an act that sadly makes their ascent more difficult than it needed to be.

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