Wispy and jagged, expansive and restrained, Friends of Dean Martinez have created another atmospheric, evocative, guitar-driven album. Random Harvest's subtly-menacing Southwestern instrumentals tap into Pink Floyd's epic and icy moments while summoning the earthy landscapes and textures of Calexico and Giant Sand, two bands that, along with Naked Prey, share members with FoDM. And, impressively, FoDM does this without sounding redundant. Random Harvest opens with effects swirling over dreamy, Doors-ish keyboard activity and a melodic bass riff. Then it fades out, until Bill Elm's steel guitar enters, slicing through the soundscape. On Random Harvest, all songs bleed together and inform each other, serving to create a cohesive landscape -- a landscape that may or may not contain worn-down drifters, dogged by the past and scowling at the present. That is to say, is someone hanging from the maple on the hill? Yes. Yes. This is the modernized soundtrack to a Sam Peckinpah bloodbath. Delicious.
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