Review by Tom Durden
It is July 2nd. A day like any other, but for one small detail. For today, instead of going in to work, you head to the coast in search of solitude. What you find is a lonely cliff top, the wind whipping your hair as you stare solemnly at the rocks below. With one final exhalation, your feet leave the ground and your body falls to the shore, which is where it remains until a passing dog-walker happens upon it and calls the emergency services. Your family and friends are notified and grief-stricken. What happened? You were such a fun-loving, easy-going soul that had the world at your feet. What would make you do such a thing? Well it’s no mystery: You evidently spent more than an hour of your time listening to Esperi’s debut 'In A Moment, Emotion, Sentiment'.
And whilst it is plain to see that main-man Chris Marr is a talented guitar-player with an inventive streak, there’s no escaping the fact that In A Moment… is essentially one looooong song that never strays from the light side of mellow. The album opens with ‘Silo The Fire’, a through-composed atmospheric “piece” that sparks interest with tinkling chimes and glistening tuned percussion that conjure a sense of harmony and bliss, the kind that Sigur Ros have made their port of call for the last decade (see Takk’s ‘Glósóli’). It gives new meaning to the word “monotonous”, but is perfect chill-out music. Then comes ‘Proverb’, showing shades of Bon Iver, Deacon Blue, Penguin Café Orchestra and even Biffy Clyro (on Prozac), with Marr’s voice soothing and coaxing you into a state of bliss. And that’s where you’ll stay – unless you forget to keep breathing – as the remaining ten tracks trundle along at their own glacial pace, Marr’s voice in a constant state of uncaring submission that does nothing but make the listener feel as bored as he sounds.
For all its quirkiness in the odd choice of percussion, using toys and bicycles to create interesting sound captures, In A Moment…’s lack of variety and unwillingness to change is ultimately its downfall. For a record that hopes to be challenging, all it really challenges is the ability of the listener to refrain from holding their breath and ending this drawn out torture.
Review by Tom Durden