Parlour ditched the laptops for Hives Fives, broadened the instrumentation and expanded to a live seven-piece. The result, as desired: bigger beats, stronger melodies, and a more organic sense of composition. Bass and drums lock into Neu!-like grooves, while an array of keyboards and guitars swirl in all directions; saxophone and bass clarinet layer thick drones at the very heart of the sound, cementing the instrumental density that is Parlour's trademark. Replacing computers with live players lends each song a newly warm-blooded adrenaline rush, a relentless forward motion that doesn't let up. No longer just a solo vehicle for Furnish, Parlour's contributors make the group greater than the sum of its parts. With a sound like Sonic Youth on a sugar high, or a Krautrock !!!, or adrenaline-fueled Jacques Cousteau soundtracks, Parlour are making the most vital, interesting music of their long career. And nine years in, the Hives Fives EP gives us a strange feeling that the best is yet to come.
released April 5, 2005
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