As a whole, the original Alpinisms warrants much praise. Songs like “Iamundernodisguise”, “Half Asleep” and “Connjur” are, quite literally, among the best electro-pop songs released this year. And, in some ways, School Of Seven Bells defies that genre classification, as their music strays into an occasional repetitive shoegaze, hints at a little feedback filled noise, and dives headlong into a swirling and dreamy atmospheric state.
With success rampant thanks to a fair share of hype and positive reviews alike, SVIIB now gives Alpinisms a bit of an edge, adding to the digital release nine additional tracks including remixes, alternate versions, and even a demo.
The “Wired For Light (Live Drum Version)” is exactly how it sounds; an alternate version in which the instrumentation is stripped away for a beat heavy track. “Half Asleep (Alternate Version)” takes a completely different approach than the original, but is no less appealing. All of these songs possess the core traits of their counterparts. In that, they’re no less powerful, no less gripping, than those original tracks.
One of the more intriguing tracks is the live version of “Caldo” for Stereogum’s Decomposed series. The minimal instrumentation and alternating language from English to Spanish make it one of the deluxe version’s high points. However, it’s the true favorite off Alpinisms that takes the cake — “Iamundernodisguise (Vocal Mix I)”.
With this deluxe version of Alpinisms, it’s no secret that School Of Seven Bells has been busy. And that’s not all — the band recently announced their follow-up to this album, Disconnect From Desire will hit next year.
Vagrant Records [Deluxe LP, 2009]
2. Face To Face On High Places
3. Half Asleep
4. Wired For Light
5. For Kalaja Mari
6. White Elephant Coat
10. Prince Of Peace
11. My Cabal
12. Wired For Light (Live Drum Version)
13. Half Asleep (Alternate Version)
14. White Elephant Coat (Early Demo Version)
15. Caldo (Live on Stereogum’s Decomposed)
16. Sempiternal-Amarnath (Alternate Version)
17. Iamundernodisguise (Vocal Mix I)
18. My Cabal (Early Mix 07)
19. Connjur (Alternate Version)
20. For Kalaja Mari (Drum Outtake Mix)