Sleeping Pictures – Nether Edge

A rather new folky band from England with their first proper release, on the Polish Fluttering Dragon. The chore of the band is formed by vocalist Marc Blackie and guitar-player Gary Parsons. To complete the line-up they have hired some renowned names like Tony Wakeford (bass), RenĂ©e Rosen (violin), John Murphy (percussion), Hunter Barr (bass) and David Cook (bass). “Nether Edge” has a nicely designed colourful booklet, containing all the lyrics.

Most tracks are rather traditional acoustic songs. There are influences from 60’s/70’s folk (and even some blues), perhaps even more so than World Serpent-type apocalyptic folk bands. The voice of Blackie is an acquired taste, sounding a-typical, making me think of Edward Ka-Spel at times. And I think Sleeping Pictures has some more musical similarities with the Legendary Pink Dots. Other bands I have to think of are Lux Interna, While Angels Watch and Naevus (like on the quite rocking ‘Circulation’). Quite a nice folky album with a dozen of decent songs. “Nether Edge” gets even better after a few listening turns. Nothing revolutionary, though not the most accessible folk band I know. The songs of Sleeping Pictures sound certainly honest and often moving, like is the case with the tragic ‘Ship of Fools’, a great track.

The highlight of the album for me is probably the dynamic ‘Soap opera life’, with uptempo percussion, swirling violin, intense guitars and vocals. As most songs it has quite bitter, personal lyrics, of the ancient battlefield called love…

Transient love, one hundred times
And what’s the excuse, the exit route?
Load your weapons, aim and shoot
Best not worry, lets do or die
Holding hands under tainted sky
And smiling falsely, showing teeth
Hiding still what lurks beneath
Making love and kisses shallow
Body sacred yet pride runs fallow

artist: Sleeping Pictures
label: Fluttering Dragon
details: 13 tracks [f.d. 026]