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Does It Look Like I'm Here?' is the third official album by emeralds (after Solar Bridge on Hanson, and the self-titled LP on their own Wagon and Gneiss Things imprints, as well as countless small edition tapes and CDRs on a host of labels) and once again it presents another radical new direction for this Cleveland trio. It sees the group moving from playing single oscillator analog synthesizers to really complex analog and analog-digital hybrid as well a great deal of guitar synthesizers, not to mention fine tuning their skills as brilliant tunesmiths. Simply put, the results are outstanding. Comprising of a number of tracks from their recent ultra limited 7' vinyl series on Wagon, as well new compositions exclusive to this release. This fine selection of tunes surpass anything they have achieved in their 5 year career. Perfect melodies intertwined with ripping sequences and a guitar sound that floats perfectly throughout. Although most tracks cover new ground in that they follow a shortened Ôpop format', more long form cuts such as the towering ÔGenetic' and the title track will give fans of their earlier work something to grab onto, or totally let themselves go depending on the state of mind. Having spent all their lives in the relative isolation of Cleveland means their music has developed into a vital, stunning unique hybrid that may have not been able to blossom in more active urban centres. ÔDoes It Look Like I'm Here?' heralds a turning point for all those involved and is perfect vivid soundtrack to emerge out of the recent harsh grey winter. Fresh, shiny and totally essential.
THE WIRE'S BEST OF 2010