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Corridor - Real Life

  by Tom Fogarty

published: 9 / 12 / 2011

Corridor - Real Life
Label: Manimal Vinyl
Format: CD


Flawed and self-indulgent, yet also impressive lush-sounding guitar music from Corridor, the project of Los Angeles-based musician, Michael Quinn

Corridor is the solo project of Michael Quinn, a man who makes impressive music sounding much like it was melded by a complete ensemble (In many ways something akin to Matt Johnson of The The fame). 'Real Late' is the second album release from Corridor and features seven tracks of darkly manufactured guitar music and relentless beats. Track one, 'Objective Lens', could have been ripped straight from a Stone Roses album, complete with incessant droning vocals, and repetitive (though not strictly “dancey”) drumbeats. That said, this track does set the tone for the rest of the album, and you sort of know the vibe you are going to get throughout. The second number - 'Pieces of Work' - is reminiscent of 'Exciter'-era Depeche Mode, and really just builds upon the album’s opener. Three tracks in, and 'Roam Roo'm is where the music starts to get exciting. Starting with flamenco guitars, working up to classic heavy guitar riffs accompanied by thumping beats. It is definitely the best tune of the album. The rest of the album continues in a similar vein, with one song blending skilfully into the next, but with no real highlights from here onward. It is clear that Quinn is extremely talented; a musical craftsman, but it’s a shame that he is never truly experimental on 'Real Late'. The music is heavily guitar-driven with hypnotic drumming, and enthused with a variety of other instruments including piano, synth and cello. The effect is a richly layered wall of sound. Impressive when you consider this is a solo effort. I feel that the music – good as it is – is not quite strong enough to stand alone as an instrumental album. At times Quinn’s vocals distract from the music on 'Real Late'. Vocally sounding much like Ian Brown (not a bad thing per se), many of the tracks here would benefit from less singing. Drawing a comparison to The The again, perhaps Quinn’s music might be helped if he were to hire in singers from time to time. Or simply to focus more on making instrumental material. Measured, precise and near-clinical, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Michael Quinn as something of a control freak in the studio, rather than a musical genius. Self-indulgent for sure, but not in a completely ego-maniacal way – there is much to appreciate here that would definitely warrant future listens. Indeed 'Real Late' would probably profit greatly from repeated listening. Don’t write Corridor off - I would be keen to hear what Quinn does with his next effort. There is a lot of promise here and it could be something truly special.

Track Listing:-
1 Objective Lens
2 Pieces Of Work
3 Roam Room
4 C/I/T/M
5 Rebuilding My Internal World
6 Willful
7 Acclaim

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