Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody
I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years
For two decades, Adam Franklin has been exploring the cosmos of creative noise. Fronting British rock cosmonauts Swervedriver, Franklin helped compose four awesome albums of spacey shoegazer rock during the 1990s, pitting pop melodies against the crushing sonic densities of distorted guitars. And even though Franklin’s mothership has visited many planets since (projects like the ambient electro of Toshack Highway), his latest solo album, I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years (his third since 2007 with backing band Bolts of Melody), still retains traces of Swervedriver’s drone rock, blasting out 12 transmissions using a lot of distorted guitars, garbled vocals, and nuclear-fueled musical grooves, comparable to everyone from Slowdive to My Bloody Valentine. That’s a bit of a change from 2009’s Spent Bullets, where Franklin put most of his of static-charged guitar blasters in deep lock, probing a 10-song set of laidback, solar-powered alt-pop. I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years actually fuses the two sounds well — sweet harmonious melodies and amorphous six-string sprawl. “Mary Gunn” is a short, sugary folk serenade; “I’ll Be Yr Mechanic” is a guitar attack with jetpacks and effects pedals. But the best songs are songs like “Spent Bullets” that come out of hyperspace as warm and shimmering rock 'n' roll, sounding like Catherine Wheel or Bob Mould. Nearly all of these sound waves are similarly satisfying, even if a few leave a little ringing in your ear. —Keith Gribbins
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