If you’ve ever wondered what a Kasabian — Doors mash up made by a someone who loves his kick drum might sound like, look no further.
Throw in some My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses and Joy Division and you’re close to the sound of Cellar Doors. They sound English but they’re actually from California.
They’re a psychedelic band but the sound changes across the album. In fact we wonder if it’s all meant to represent a trip on illegal narcotics: the openers are fast, heart racing and lucid, the middle is slower, swirlier and slightly wild, the end slows down to a much simpler sound.
It all kicks off with perky pop psychedelia, almost Vaccines, and lots of guitar effects. Opener City Girl is solid kick drum, swirling, distorted guitar and vocals down in the mix. Silhouette has an 80s electronic feel, the rhythm metronomic and the vocals calmed down from the opener; it perhaps goes a bit Kasabian. In A Dream opens with distorted guitar that reminded us of less-dark Glas Vegas; Prism opens with a bass riff Kasabian could steal, and Cellar Doors may have stolen from Joy Division.
Hollow turns the mood, more toms and guitar than bass, and a Doors sound. Sirens is one of the central pieces, fast bass, swirly guitars and the feel of someone lost in the groove. Two songs later Heroine starts the wind-down, Wild Heart closing, and we’re onto acoustic guitar and weary folk. It’s all nothing new but they do it well, and it’s interesting, working well as an album.
Interestingly, the name comes via a 1955 lecture from JRR Tolkien who mentioned “cellar door” as a combination of English words having an especially beautiful sound, independent of their meaning. We were convinced Celador would be a Lord of The Rings character; minor elf, perhaps. Sadly not.
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