Kaddisfly - Set Sail the Prairie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Set Sail the Prairie (2007)

Sub City

However changing face Hopeless and Sub City Records may be, it's now slowly becoming clear they have the potential to collectively emerge as an outlet for creative, latter-era emo bands to express themselves in extended passages. We saw it first in Ever We Fall's impressive debut full-length last year, We Are But Human, and now after a shaky debut Kaddisfly have settled into this niche…which actually isn't such an easily pigeonholed niche.

On Set Sail the Prairie Kaddisfly dabble in the modern, atmospheric, trippy yet delicately emotional passages that somewhat resemble a slightly more dull albeit more ambitious Days Away or Circa Survive. It could be argued that heavy hints of earlier Brazil permeate the mix, too. Christopher James Ruff leads the vocal change in an eccentric, versatile manner; he'll occasionally speed up his delivery in weird little bursts -- in "Janvier: Via Rail," I get a serious vibe of At the Drive-In's "Invalid Litter Dept.". While Ruff can't quite seem to hit those upper register notes he's striving for at certain moments throughout the album, they rise with the music fairly well.

After attempting to channel the shimmering post-rock of Explosions in the Sky in hushed opener "Summer Solstice" (which pops up every now and then through the rest of Prairie's course to fair results), plenty more outside-the-box nods take place. There are brief, weirdly dub moments in "July: Waves," a strangely dancey vibe replete with active piano in "Noyabr`: Empire," and all sorts of funky guitar tones all throughout. "Winter Solstice" is a nice, much needed intermission, a bare bones sorta jazz piece with just Ruff's understated vocals, light drums and piano.

What Kaddisfly is doing here is impressive, but it doesn't change the fact that Set Sail the Prairie is really, really fucking long. Like, a shade under 70 minutes long, and frankly the band's style just isn't interesting enough to want to take it all in every single listen. However, with a little patience and comfortable sitting position, letting it simply sink in wouldn't be such a bad idea despite the conflicting album title.

Junio: Campfire
Noyabr': Empire
Sãn Yuè: Mercury