This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Sear. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2001.
It's been a while since I first listened to this CD. When I received it, I used to play it whenever I was trying to relax, it has that sort of ambience to it. However it's not until I've been listening to the electronica that is katywithout "Tablet" EP that I have returned to write my review.
Sear are, in effect, just a duo and the CD has the impression of a computer-aided recording, overlaid with some keyboard and guitar samples.
Opening track "Voices" takes elements of similar bands, such as Portishead, whilst the addition of guitar effects during the chorus gives it a more rocky edge. Most noticeable over the top of the fairly constant effects driven drumbeat are the bass line and the simple, but effective clean guitar chords.
The effects on "Staying Here" are much more obvious, with a depth of bass that causes a degree of distortion. Its still verging on dance though, and whilst there are still guitar riffs over the top you would not call this guitar-based music. If you imagine more synth-based bands perhaps almost NIN but not so, errm "NIN".
"Primitive People" begins like an early 90s-techno rip-off, and if it wasn't supposed to sound as such, please be aware that the intro made me remember my Sixth Form days. However it progresses into perhaps my favourite track on the CD - the tendencies to add some guitars, and to actually give them focus, means that "Primitive People" actually kicks off quick well at times.
"Free Falling" is a return to the band's almost Portishead ambience style.
I began by saying this is music to lay back and relax to, even the heavier songs have the same sort of feel to them. I don't think its music to actually listen or pay attention to and I've struggled when I've tried to concentrate on it. Although its better when it's played in the background, I don't doubt that some of you out there will focus more on Sear's music than I did and be more appreciative of their musical aims.
I'm interested to see whether the band aim to do this live, as perhaps the music will attract my attention in a more visual setting.