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I’ve wanted to write about this band and their music for quite some time now but never could discover the words that I wanted to use to describe them. I think that one of the main reasons why I’ve become so attracted to this record is that I hadn’t quite heard something played in this fashion and in such continuity before and done to a degree that I’ve come to appreciate over the course of a few years. Having been released in early ’08, the record itself has had time to settle throughout its respective musical circles and suffice it to say, it has managed to hold its own particularly well despite similar releases of comparable sounds.

This double album is not so much about any one genre; indeed, many musical elements are showcased here. A lot of shoegaze is present as is a bit of post-rock and even drone at points. The shoegaze elements work particularly well – I don’t find too many albums these days who have been able to replicate the effect that is played throughout Half a Nice Life’s music. The third track perhaps most heavily hints at this with vocals sounding like they’ve been partially submerged as well as liberal use of effect pedals and other equipment that produce a certain dreamlike quality to it reminiscent of 80s and very early 90s shoegaze groups (think The Jesus and the Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine).

However, I don’t think that these reasons alone account for the band’s consistent appeal since I’ve known about them. The fact that they do so many things in the album and do it well should indeed speak for itself. It flows very well from the very first track. Texturally rough, but beautiful and seductive. It took me a fairly lengthy amount of time to fully appreciate the record for what it is and I’m still finding small details about it that make that even more pronounced.

What’s interesting is that the people behind the Connecticut, US-based band took almost eight years to put out their very first full length album when it was formed in 2000, perhaps more involved in other projects at the time including bands like The Danger Strangers and then-active In Pieces. Their second release entitled Time of Land was released two years later comprising of just four tracks and although of equal caliber to Deathconciousness, not much else has been heard from this group that we know of, at least not in any official capacity.

“Bloodhail” and “The Big Gloom” proved to be surefire hits, however there is a lot more to be discovered as you listen throughout the album including “Holy Fucking Shit, 40,000” linked above as well as “I Don’t Love” found within the second half of the album: an incredible washed out wall of sound that really satisfies and compliments the entire album very, very elegantly.

Double albums are usually very ambitious and prove themselves out with their reception. And despite the hype that this band got when Deathconciousness was released, Half a Nice Life has honestly out done themselves with such a fine quality release and I have no doubt that the record will continue to be a staple of the genres that it represents.

For more information, check out the following:

Last.fm

Discogs

– At Enemies List Recordings

Download.

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