Thursday 13 January 2011

McGuire Rises Above

I dont know how Mark McGuire made it to the end of 2010 alive, let alone in one piece - a man with this much positive creative energy must surely spontaneously combust! With six individual releases, one of which was a 2010 highlight (Living With Yourself), plus the amazing Emeralds album Does It Look Like Im Here?, plus the myriad releases he has put out in the past as cassettes and CD-Rs, you'd think that there is a lot of flotsam buried amongst the quantity of sounds on offer. Yet I think it would be an error on your behalf if you wrote anything off, which is why I have gone back to High Above The City, a four track opus that perfectly captures McGuire's guitar musicianship plus providing a template from which many of his Emeralds compositions must surely pour forth from. It is clear how strong McGuire is as a guitarist and composer here, with each song breathing in and out like living beasts, the ebb and flow of his guitar noodling organic to the point of otherworldly. The looping effect of these tracks fit into the essence of drone music, but McGuire crafts songs that are clearly a defined extension of himself - there really isnt anything else out there that can imitate his style, or vice versa. With this and Living With Yourself he is showing the strength to define his sound - 2011 could be the year that he produces a masterpiece.

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