. issue V : viii .

by barathron

. artist : anvil salute .
. album : black bear rug .
. year : 2012 .
. label : deep water acres .
. grade : a .


Anvil Salute‘s latest has been “several years in the (slo-mo) making” and for whatever reasons those obstacles arose, Black Bear Rug plays out like it turned delay into gestation. Wonderfully atmospheric, Black Bear Rug must have simply come when it was naturally ready. Call it planet alignment or coincidence, there really isn’t a better time for this to come than Summer, just past the mid-point when Autumn is still far off, but soon enough to be a reality. Trite and cliché? Maybe, but in those is usually a kernel of truth that gave rise to them, and that’s the pulse that Anvil Salute seemingly have their wordless finger on.

Black Bear Rug exists in that time when day is giving into evening and night is turning into morning. In Anvil Salute’s hands those two times meet and become virtually indistinguishable. Taking that line of thinking further out, much of the album seems blissfully lost in thought, as well as blissfully thought out in its lack of premeditation.

Some argue that a natural state is one of chaos. I’ll buy that, but when the elements that buzz, hum and flit all gel into a wider, far more encompassing vista, then that natural state is an embracing one, and one that is arguably 100% natural weave.

Black Bear Rug spreads itself out over a wealth of tones and hues. “Don Peyote (Superfluous Poncho)” is downright playful in its pixie military cadence, while “Your Telephone Body” floats out and spreads with equal measures of longing and hopefulness. “Get In When You Feel In” plucks and tugs at the heartstrings without resorting to picking scabs. If one cut says what I obviously can’t and serves as the mission example, it has to be the stellar “Fourth Person Singular.” See a pattern emerging? A flat-out gorgeous song, it exists in multiple and opposing states, like most of Black Bear Rug. Welcoming, warm, soothing…melancholic, yearning…grab that achy loose tooth and wiggle the cliché out of it. It’s not that there isn’t a use for words, but in this case they would add needless form where it’s up to the end-user to add it. And that’s a bigger payoff, and message, for the listener to benefit from, an evocative one that makes Black Bear Rug all the more human and a much stronger case for the human condition. Anvil Salute claim their influences as “the wind, rain and snow. Sunshine too. Everything. All sounds. All thoughts. All sights. Makes you just feel good, doesn’t it?” It certainly does.

by Mr. Atavist