Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 240 - 03/23/16

The Renderers
In The Sodium Light
Ba Da Bing! Records

It's been some years since I've listened to The Renderers - the low-voiced, brittle, pastoral pop-rock of wife'n'husband duo Maryrose and Brian Crook (plus their additional bandmates/players as there has been endless band line-ups and continual changes/challenges in the band). The Crooks formed their Renderers outfit back in 1989, and put out their debut album, Trail of Tears (Flying Nun) in 1990. Years back I had their shimmering, splendid "Million Lights" 7" single (Merge Records) on repeat play, and I also enjoyed their album That Dog's Head in the Gutter Gives Off Vibrations (Ajax, 1994) heavily, rapidly for a while.

In The Sodium Light is their 8th (?) album including Ghosts Of Our Vegas Lives (2006), which was credited to Maryrose Crook With The Renderers. As the label states, the 'seismic rumbling of The Renderers goes beyond the fiendish pastoralia of their music.' Imagine something up the alley of Mazzy Star's lushed and quiet atmospheric music, meaning a highly comfortable and pleasure-filled listening. Dusted and sandblasted music from deserted places where you assume the next will be something near total silence, with whistling winds and tumbleweed blow and roll by. The eerie Americana (Oceanicana, anyone?) of The Renderers makes me think of a, uh... ship in the desert. Their music is like a balancing act on slowly rolling waves. I get this feeling of spending time on a craft on water. The rocking 'motion' of the combination of Brian's guitars (and sometimes his rough, dusty voice) and Maryrose's vocals is hypnotic. At times their songs are even dizzying but not in an uncomfortable way. Their songs make the perfect soundtrack to loneliness. In The Sodium Light makes some 45 minutes of spellbinding slow rock. The ballads of The Renderers are spooky and scary, but they also unveil some inner beauty and a big, big heart. The shiny voice of Maryrose and Brian's slow floating, twisted guitar contrast each other in a most perfect way. This is the sound of something 'soft, silver-white'. Like sodium. Dig in and enjoy.

PS! There's a special edition of In The Sodium Light which includes an exclusive print by Maryrose (who is an internationally renowned artist). She has made this painting specifically for the new album release.

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