Shoosh: Magus EP
Herb Recordings

Shoosh was previously a three-piece featuring Craig Murphy, Ed Drury, and singer-songwriter Neil Carlill, but the latter, who appeared on the group's Orpheum Circuit album, doesn't appear on the Magus EP because of a sabbatical he's taken in order to work with Warren Cucurrullo (Frank Zappa, Duran Duran, Missing Persons) on a new project. Well, nothing against Mr. Carlill but, frankly, Shoosh benefits from his absence, if the EP is anything to go on. The project might prove to be a less commercially viable one with the vocals removed but musically the material proves more satisfying when solely overseen by Murphy and Drury. A follow-up to the 2009 release Return of The Silver Surfer, the new EP pushes Shoosh into an electroacoustic zone with ambient-folk overtones. Bright guitar strums and picking give the material an almost countrified feel, while the synthetic flourishes add a modernized lustre. In the title cut, guitar picking is enveloped by atmospheric electronics and synthesizers, while “56 Days to Happiness” and “Brilliant White Frost” are both charmingly bucolic in their relaxed comminglings of guitar shadings and electronic whooshes. At sixteen minutes, the EP is brief but satisfying nevertheless. It'd be interesting to see if the duo could sustain the same level of listener engagement in a full album of similarly styled material.

July 2010