There’s something very comforting about noise and the way that it permeates our everyday lives. When faced with silence, we prefer static in the form of televisions, stereos, and white noise machines. It is within this context that we first begin to understand -- and be comforted by -- bands who excel at the very simple art of noise. On their Ben Allen-produced debut album, Atlanta’s All The Saints have this skill mastered from the very first notes of “Shadow, Shadow”. Here, they begin a delicate and slow build, with muddy keynotes and lazy guitars mingling into a crescendo that recalls the finest of their shoegazing predecessors.
This buildup is central to the album as a whole: at base, each of these songs swirl into one another with the ease and appeal of the aforementioned white noise machines. Feedback levels are irresistibly balanced with dreamy vocals, and each element is blended perfectly together in a way that could easily relegate it to background music. At the same time, each note is crisp and clear. The vocals ring out strong, never buried beneath the layers, and with each listen, more is revealed. This is noise, certainly, but never is it dissonance.
What works best about this album is the very fact that to tune it out is possible, but hard to imagine: here, intriguing elements are constantly being introduced. At times, as on “Regal Regalia,” All the Saints touch upon the louder, more memorable moments of Spiritualized. Elsewhere, there’s an undeniable hint of straightforward classic rock (as on “Papering Fix” or the album’s title track). Where the guitars fade out, we’re left with the melodic certainty of “Leeds”, wherein the band evokes the very finest of simple Brit-pop ditties. Rather than distract or overwhelm, these shifts are subtle and engaging. Like the best kinds of noise, Fire On Corridor X is comforting; like the best kinds of art, it continues to surprise.