On their first full length for the Public Guilt label, the Destructo Swarmbots deliver a wash of drone and ambience for some seriously fuzzed out Krautrock-style sounds. The four massive tracks on the album are a lesson in dramatic understatement and subtle background sounds mix together intricately on ?Clear Light.?
While not pulling too far from the rest of the sounds in the album, the most apparent instrument on the album is the echoed guitar. On certain tracks it seems to hover above the deep bass and synth sounds coming from the background. I think the guitar is best used on the track ?Fireberry,? where clipped, muted guitar strums double as a percussion sound in the mix. My only criticism of the guitar would be the piercing shrieks on ?Phases.? These come across a bit too much like school hearing test tones for my liking, especially when listening on headphones. Ouch.
Really, it?s worth your time to get past that, because even though they?re up front, the guitars are only a fraction of the story here. Deep, fuzzy, low-end drones move organically throughout. Synth sounds are also well used to add another layer of texture to the album. On ?Sipping on the Fog? in particular, the guitars yield the way for a huge keyboard lead. The result is almost like church organ, except in this case reigned in and darkened by the deep backgrounds.
?Clear Light? is a great album to sit back with your headphones on and dissect all of the pieces. There are a lot of sounds and textures here and I get the feeling that each time this CD gets popped in the player I?ll be able to find another dark layer of sound. 7/10 -- Matt Blackall (15 May, 2007)