[sic] Magazine

The Receiver – All Burn

In [sic]’s review of Axis: Sova’s psychedelic Early Surf earlier this year we pointed out how it’s funny that no-one makes “prog” anymore despite there being many progressive artists out there and pondered how this was possibly due to genres belonging to a specific time as well as sound. Right on cue, Ohio duo The Receiver make sophisticated synth-pop and their third LP, All Burn, is being marketed by type-label Kscope as a prog masterpiece, but herein immediately lies an issue.

No matter its technicality and experimentation, progressive music ought to take a sound forward and All Burn – a few neat bits of synth play aside – is about as adventurous as Chris Martin’s choice of underwear. Under this umbrella, even brothers Casey and Jesse Cooper’s choice of band name seems passive for theirs is ultimately a narrow brand of melancholy dream-pop that owes as much to the swelling compositions of Mew and M83 as it does the smothering cosmic psychedelia from which prog originally evolved. On paper this sounds quite appealing and on record so it proves, but despite delicate passages of piano bounce and purposeful synth scan, back-masking and the gentle bubble of an underlying raga here and there, All Burn suffers from a lack of variety.

Casey Cooper’s fragile and soothing vocal only makes it more difficult to grab on to the album’s undeniable hooks too, which is all a bit of a shame as in places his deftly layered lyrics complement the smooth drones rather nicely – the pair’s horizontal cloud-world punctuated at its best by rays of synthesised horns and warm percussive blasts elsewhere. Like a British summer, however, All Burn’s clouds break too infrequently at the end of the day to stake any great claim.

~All Burn is out now via Kscope.~