Cranes, Live In Italy

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Stripped-down live document from some under appreciated ‘90s shoegazers.

This somewhat misunderstood and greatly under appreciated brother/sister team was grouped in with shoegazers like Slowdive and even Cocteau Twins, but while their music was translucent and transcendent, it was driven more by dread than by escapism. Live in Italy, recorded during Cranes '2002 tour, captures the contrast between the band's soothing, atmospheric music and Alison Shaw's harrowing vocals more effectively than any of their studio recordings. Without echoey studio effects and dense multi-tracking, the songs are more open and vulnerable and Shaw's tortured little girl voice is as unsettling as a good horror film.