strangers and exiles

2005.april :: sceneandheard.ca

by erin bell

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B.C.'s Welkin is the ultimate chill-out band, and their latest CD Strangers & Exiles can best be described as soft rock with a backbone. Mellow but not bland, the tempo is slow and steady and the songs frequently push the eight minute mark.

The disc's apex is the fully-realized prog masterpiece 'Howling Wind,' a success not in the sense of a lot of busy instrumental noodling, but in the sense of fully-formed musical ideas that are left to amble slowly towards a conclusion rather than be crammed into the 2:30 pop song formula.

Geoff Birch's expressive voice injects some warmth into the otherwise austere musical landscape, which conjures up memories of campfires and wilderness at night. Perfect for backyard stargazers, or city folks who wish they were.

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