Earth Grid is the second album Asa Osborne (guitarist with influential post-hardcore band Lungfish) has produced under the Zomes alias. The accompanying press release describes it as the 'culmination of Osborne's years of exploring meditative modal models'. The new Pigeon Detectives album, then, this is not.

Song titles like 'The Garden', 'OK Philosophy' and 'A Path Of Music' clearly signpost this is a contemplative body of work. Similar to band mate Daniel Higgs, Osborne has charted new territories with his solo work. With Earth Grid he has created an album that relies not on verse and chorus but subtly shifting shades, textures and tones.

The album was written, played and recorded entirely at home on cassette tape and it has that intimate and lo-fi feel. There is a warmth and blissfulness to the desolate organ and drum sounds which help repetition to become hypnotic beauty.

To pick out highlights doesn't seem to make sense, and misses the point. It is an album that merges into one sound, with only 'Step Anew's' discordant opening breaking its trance like grip (although, as the hypocritical critic I am, if pressed I would choose the longest song on the album, 'Alec's Anthem', as the standout track).

If Earth Grid aims for transcendental and esoteric it misses its lofty goals. Yet that is not to take anything away from what is a starkly beautiful album. Save it for a dark, peaceful night and enjoy.

Photobucket