Josh Urist: The Cold Equations LP (Yeggs, 2018)

January 31, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Josh Urist: The Cold Equations LP

The Cold Equations looks like a soundtrack, and there’s even a cinematic trailer for it, but the actual film doesn’t exist. Composer Josh Urist used to be a volunteer at WCBN a long time ago, and this album features several other former U of M alumni and former Ann Arbor music scene regulars, most notably Stuart Bogie and the omnipresent Colin Stetson. Sarah Neufeld appears on here as well, adding strings to the sorrowful “He Meant It The Way It Sounded”. Musically, it’s sometimes airy, sometimes suspenseful, and sometimes dramatic. Drum machines pulse under a few tracks, particularly “Marilyn Lee”, “M Plus X”, and the trippier “Paragraph L, Section 8”, but several others have live drums, particularly the jaunty, breezy “Woden Bound”. “The Western Edge” is the most country-sounding lament here, while “Gerry’s Escape” is the most raucous, with gigantic drums bashing out of nowhere, and Stetson’s inimitable sax flamethrowing. “You Told a Lie (Closing Credits)” ends everything with a big, torchy ballad. The packaging is absolutely phenomenal; the sleeve is sturdy, the vinyl is heavy, and most anyone will be fooled into thinking it’s an actual soundtrack if they haven’t read the press release. Definitely a must-listen for anyone who’s enjoyed Morricone Youth’s recent scores for classic cult films.

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