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It Goes, It Goes
Halves It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever)
Released 29 October 2010

Efrim Menuck, Howard Bilerman, Radwan Moumneh, Richard McCullough
Label Hateistheenemy
Genre Indie
Website ahomeforhalves.com

Now and again you happen upon a release by a band that ticks all the right boxes, an album that you don't need to ensure a reader is a grower or a future classic or on the way to dizzying acclaim because upon pressing play all of those things quickly become apparent.

The follow up to 2008's EP Haunt Me When I'm Drowsy, It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever) is a melting pot of melancholy that falls exactly upon the right side of the majestic. Recorded in the legendary Hotel2Tango studios in Montreal (housed in a former alarm factory beside a freight railroad) the eleven track album was created with the use of the studio's vast collection of instruments, amps, organs, effects (most of which dated from 1930s-1980s) and produced by the legendary Godspeed You! Black Emperor member Efrim Menuck.

A clear musical manifesto and an obtuse system of movie references make clear the reason behind Halves' camaraderie with outdoor cinema soundtracking regulars 3epkano. And their music is without doubt as good as the company they keep. Ambient murmured utterances join ambitious song structures, gradually building into the type of music anyone could spend an evening happily drowning in. Released as a teaser on the band's website earlier this year the album's third track 'Darling, You'll Meet Your Maker' is a perfect cinematic siren song, the undertow of which "You'll get what you want and have nothing, you'll waste what you have and have nothing" adds ominous presence to a song already flowing over with the associated crackles, interference, and portentous suggestions of the early silver screen.

Track after track on It Goes, It Goes... impresses and songs like 'Growing and Glow' and the haunting 'Don't Send Your Kids to the Lake' each have a set piece, mood and manner that will stay with a listener long after the album's fifty-five minutes are over. Every record has its dud, however, and amongst the album's piano, electric violin, glockenspiel, guitar, synth, omnichord, melodica, sleighbells, the Little Octoberist's vocoder is an electric instrument too far working counterproductively against an album that as a whole feels far more sophisticated without. Nevertheless with guest performers like Amy Millan (Stars/BSS), Katie Kim, Phil Boughton (Subplots), Canadian harpist Elaine Kelly-Canning, twenty-seven members of the Kilkenny choir and ten other stand out tracks everything else is easily forgiven.

You may not know them yet but Halves are the best Irish band out there at the moment and It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever) is exactly the kind of Irish release that I, at least, have been waiting to hear for quite too long a time.

- Cormac O’Brien