Wymond Miles, Under the Pale Moon

Andy Beta

By Andy Beta

on 06.12.12 in Reviews
Fresh & Onlys guitarist indulges in his inner goth

When he wasn’t conjuring dust storms of noir-ish, twanging guitar with San Francisco garage-rockers Fresh & Onlys, Wymond Miles was quietly stockpiling his own songs. Not that we’re sure where he finds the time: aside from the building buzz of F&Os, Miles earned a degree in the humanities and also became a father. Earlier, he released Earth Has Doors, which evinced a deep appreciation for the lyricism of Scott Walker. His full-length debut is darker and more somber than the Fresh & Only’s; Miles indulges his inner goth, singing of torn desires and fragile flesh on opener “Strange Desire” and sounding at times like Robert Smith fronting the Bad Seeds. Though his words tend towards the lugubrious, it’s Miles’s hooks, expert six-string playing and tactful placement of sounds that make the album a luminous whole. See how the theremin sweeps in during “The Thirst” or how the guitar feedback upticks on “Lazarus Rising” before receding to its original jangle. Perhaps his strategy is laid out best on “Singing the Ending,” where he croons about “go(ing) gentle into that goodnight.”