My Education

Sunrise (Strange Attractors Audio House)

Record Review

My Education

Sunrise (Strange Attractors Audio House)

ST 37 (Metropolis), Golden Arm Trio (Battleship Potemkin), Brown Whörnet (Nosferatu), and the Friends of Dean Martinez (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari): Austin's DIY film score contingent slays the silents. My Education (Sunrise) now enters that hall of fame. Compressing its live accompaniment to F.W. Murnau's 1927 Oscar triumph, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, the heavy instrumentalists ignite the film's riveting melodrama like its prize-winning cinematography. Seven tracks move through three times as many musical chapters, the quintet adding a guesting fourpiece of cello, violin, vibraphone, and French horn. Band member James Alexander's haunting viola gets its gravitas across with the efficacy of a Les Paul. "City Woman" wears a Floydian hook, the song's "Kashmir" accents emerging halfway through to a building crescendo that stops just short of full-blown guitar torching and even then your eyebrows are off. "Lust" admirably keeps its pants fastened a full five minutes, only to then shift, with a shimmering pause, into a naked tangle of strings expressing regrets at the eight-minute mark. "Oars" razes using laser 1970s guitars, while a symphonic hole cut into the fattening Gogol beat of the urgent "Peasant Dance" reveals one of the riffs of 2010. "Sunrise" resolves Murnau's human duet – like daylight after the deluge.

****

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    My Education puts music to an 83-year-old silent German expressionist touchstone
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