Album Reviews

Jason Molina – Eight Gates – Album Review

Jason Molina – Eight Gates – Album Review
by Killian Laher

It’s really quite strange to be reviewing a new Jason Molina album considering his death in 2013.  For those unaware, he first appeared in the nineties under the name of Songs:Ohia, before moving into a new phase with a full band – Magnolia Electric Co, all the while releasing material under his own name as well.  And a lot of it!  He was never one ripe for exploitation after death, you kind of have to have a degree of fame first.  These recordings are from 2008, recorded in London, and are largely solo.  It’s not clear why/ how these are appearing now, though some are referring to it as his final recordings.

It starts with birdsong, which gives way to Whisper Away, with clanging guitar over an eerie drone.  Shadow Answers The Wall actually features drums, or possibly a drum machine, and a great melody and vocal, albeit a very downbeat one.  At two and a half minutes it’s frustratingly brief.  Similarly, She Says is done and dusted in less than two minutes, though this one makes little impression.  Other standouts include the moody guitar rumbles of Fire on the Rail, and the lonesome fiddle on Be Told The Truth which paints a really dark, forbidding sonic landscape.  Thistle Blue conjures up a fine oppressive, foreboding atmosphere for four minutes or so.

It’s very bleak, but this will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with previous work under his own name, or the very early Songs: Ohia albums.  The whole thing is over in 25 minutes, and as an album, it kind of works.

Track List:
1. Whisper Away
2. Shadow Answers The Wall
3. Mission’s End
4. Old Worry
5. She Says
6. Fire on the Rail
7. Be Told The Truth
8. Thistle Blue
9. The Crossroad + The Emptiness

Shadow Answers The Wall

Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music

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