Label: Full Time Hobby Release date: 12/07/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon As the epic intro to 'Windmill' swells into a squall of soaring voices, myself and others sigh deeply in relief. The Deheza twins thankfully seem to be saddling up on the same horse they rode to much acclaim and adulation nearly two years ago. The follow up to 2008’s universally beloved Alpinisms retains its predecessor's hypnotic vocal harmonies against urgent electronica, but with more than a dash of 80’s nostalgia this time around. Everything about School Of Seven Bells is centered around the trance-inducing vocal capabilities of Claudia and Alejandra Deheza. Their backwards creation process, where instrumentals react to abounding vocals, has drawn praise from the likes of Robin Guthrie, who was good enough to remix 'My Cabal' off Alpinisms. The mutual admiration continues as I was reminded many times of Elizabeth Fraser and her commanding voice, during the course of Disconnect From Desire, the second studio LP from SVIIB. Nobody stares at their sneakers anymore, but I would say SVIIB does something close to the modern equivalent. 'Camarilla' sounds like Garlands era Cocteau Twins, and 'I L U' sounds like something from Heaven or Las Vegas. The modern tick of a precise percussion robot makes these two magically engulfing in a more assertive manner than I remember from SVIIB. Disconnect is a record that oozes assurance. With domineering vocals, songs like 'Dust Devil' and 'The Wait' are seemingly at the mercy of the Dehezas. Both are also stand outs for third member and former Secret Machinist, Ben Curtis, and his production work. For two albums now, Curtis has managed to surround these vivid voices with drama and panic, and 'Babelonia' is a beautiful example of this evolving interaction. 'Heart Is Strange' is an early burst of energy reminiscent of track three from Alpinisms, 'Half Asleep'. There were many patient moments throughout Alpinisms, and they were usually filled by some vaguely gothic chanting that while beautiful, didn’t do much to further explore the ole emotional spectrum. Now, there seems to be no hesitation when it comes to summoning Kate Bush. The difference between these two tracks and the difference between the two records is a more obvious confidence that comes with getting it damn near perfect the first time. As the trio continues to establish a signature noise with a idiosyncratic sense of theatre, fresh quintessential's like 'Heart Is Strange' and 'I L U' from Disconnect From Desire will help dictate the future trajectory for SVIIB. Photobucket