What happens when a band of resolute perfectionists make their most accessible and upbeat rock album — a departure so startling, you almost want to call it “their pop album”? When Early Day Miners loosen up, it's almost a different band. The complex layers and atmospherics are still there, but front-and-center on The Treatment are insistent basslines and straightforward melodies on multiple organs and guitars. One of the poppiest here, "So Slowly", manages to combine a buoyant Cure bassline, a wah-wah solo worthy of Robert Fripp, and yet still conveys the lazy drift of summer. You can even hear an echo of "Sympathy for the Devil" on the album’s centerpiece "How to Fall". In some respects their most personal, subjective, and emotional album, The Treatment starts like every pop album should, with an invitation to join the band in enjoying The Treatment : “we’re going out tonight / won't you join us?” but subtle clues reveal its questioning voices are not so straightforward. So listen close — this is an album whose every layer demands attention, and re-pays it.
Over the course of the last decade Daniel Burton (the man behind Early Day Miners) has become one of the mid-west’s best kept secrets. Mentored by Daniel Lanois at his Teatro Studio in Los Angeles, Burton has been putting his project-oriented stamp on a variety of records for the last 10 years. Anywhere from early Songs: Ohia recordings to tribal rumblings of On Fillmore (Glenn Kotche of Wilco’s band with the venerable Darin Gray) to the pink noise and melodies of Windsor For the Derby, Burton’s ideas and experiences with various bands in the studio have coalesced into this career-defining work, Offshore.
Early Day Miners are back with another platter of Midwest post-goth. Having already introduced their new rhythm section (Matt Griffin on drums and Jonathan Richardson on bass) to the world over the course of their last two tours, with All Harm Ends Here EDM have combined the lushness of their second album Let Us Garlands Bring with the conciseness of their last full-length Jefferson At Rest. Moreso than on any of their previous efforts, they take both musical and tonal cues from the principal architects of the 80's sad-as-hell dark underground — Echo & the Bunnymen, the Church, early-the Cure, and most notably the Bauhaus/Tones On Tail/Love And Rockets axis. While contemporaries like Bedhead and Interpol have mined primarily the darkest aspects of these long shadows, there lies in Early Day Miners' method an innate sense of hope that transcends even their darkest themes (decay, suicide, desertion). Perhaps this is most evident in the guitar interplay of long-time collaborators Dan Burton (Ativin) and Joseph Brumley. Arpeggios abound, the works of Roger McGuinn and The Edge come to mind in that there is a sense of hopefulness and sublimation which drives the songs to a better place.
On this third album by Early Day Miners, the band set out to make what they referred to as "a rock record", one with shorter, succinctly-structured songs, to be recorded mostly live at principle songwriter Dan Burton's Grotto Home Studio in Bloomington, Indiana (in between Burton sessions engineered with Papa M, On Fillmore, Darin Gray, and Cheree Jetton of the Pilot Ships). The album does indeed take Early Day Miners one step further in the rock direction. Burton's vocals are still hushed, yet ever more confident. Song structures are more concrete — the sprawling soundscapes of past releases foregone for a more pop feel which takes cues from Peter Gabriel's mid-80's work. Still present, however, is the ever-patient cadence with which Burton, drummer Rory Leitch, guitarist Joe Brumley, bassist Matt Lindblom and violinist Maggie Polk take on the songs. The arrangements, while sparse in comparison to past records, still feel lush as filtered through Burton's production, which shows the marks of a life-long appreciation of Daniel Lanois and classic 4AD records. Vinyl version is being released by Western Vinyl with the bonus song “Fillmore Blues” which is not on the compact disc version.
From the softest, most gentle campfire songs to the stringed wall of sound rock ensemble, LET US GARLANDS BRING glides easily without pause across a many-layered terrain like a film projected against a stucco wall just left of the steer-skull and under the Christmas lights; a feud breaks out at the family reunion, but the band plays on -- stonefaced and unaffected in the most committed way. It's the stuff of real human drama. Frontman Dan Burton delivers his songs in his slightly effected, though non-chalant, sing-song while drummer Rory Leitch (who has worked with Burton since they co-founded the band Ativin back in 1994) keeps it all grounded as the storm brews on. Fans of seminal slow-core bands such as Codeine and Low will appreciate Early Day Miners for their tempered beauty and composure, while lovers of My Bloody Valentine and mid-period Giant Sand (not to mention the Neil Young they were nodding to) will love the gorgeous distorted landscape that guitarists Burton and Joe Brumley allow to take them over.Produced by Dan Burton at his Grotto Home Studio in Bloomington, Indiana, LET US GARLANDS BRING is the perfect follow-up to Early Day Miners' 2000 debut full-length PLACER FOUND (released on Texas-based label Western Vinyl).The double-LP version of LET US GARLANDS BRING contains an extra song and is being released by Western Vinyl (distributed exclusively through Secretly Canadian Distribution as well)."Over and expanse of musical space most sadcore bands just couldn't control, Early Day Miners come on like Low, meek and striking, but with aspirations toward the epic sprawl of soundtrack music."- Joey Sweeney, Magnet
Release date: 05/07/02