The long awaited new album of the legendary dark music quartet marks a departure from the 50's Noir influences of their more recent albums & reverts instead to a simple & pure distillation of a more traditional AND ALSO THE TREES sound closer in spirit to their classic Virus Meadow album.
It is clear from the way melodious opening track '21 York Street' segues into the lazy paranoia of 'He Walked Through The Dew' that what appears like a low-key, homespun approach has a whole other life of twisted things going on below the surface. Delicate, monotone synthesizers, Melotrons & even the cry of wine glasses merge to create a soundscape not industrial or pastoral but somewhere in-between, a place of long, hot, feverish nights.
If there is a theme to this album, it lies in it's other-worldliness, reflected in the hallucinatory cover art & none more apparent than on the narcoleptic 'The Reply', the breezy 'The Man Who Ran Away' & 'The Untangled Man', a haunting Babel in the finest epic AATT tradition.
As a band, AND ALSO THE TREES have never sounded better than now. Quiet, dense & integrated, age has not withered them. Despite a quarter-century as perhaps the total embodiment of the term 'cult underground', they appear not perfect or unflawed but organic, restrained & seductive.
Lyrically, Simon Huw Jones' trademark rural romanticism is imbued with a newly acquired edginess and realism, emphasised by the recurring references to movement or to being watched, particularly on the elegant 'In My House' where a light, galloping groove is partnered by words of a much darker tone recalling emotions of nostalgia & shame.
Unlike its predecessors - the 'hard boiled' trilogy of 'Silver Soul', 1996's 'Angelfish' & 'The Klaxon' from '94 - FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH is perhaps their first album that draws on contemporary influence rather than those of the past. Yet at no point is one in any doubt that this is an AATT album & in truth, perhaps their finest release for some years.
"We've always worked purely on instinct. I guess that's why record companies always considered us 'difficult'. They would ask us to produce a hit single & we would reply with 'A Room Lives In Lucy'! The idea of 'selling out' to commercialism, it's not us...
Our agenda was never about being rock stars...in the beginning all we wanted to do was play, maybe make a 7" or record a Peel Session. In nearly 25 years I don't think we've ever sat down and said "OK the next album will sound like this...". What happens is what happens. I guess it's that 'punk' ideology that we've never really grown out of. "
Steven @ AATT Untangled