Review: Infinite Light, Ltd – S/T

A strange one, this. Rather than occupy the musical overlap between its collaborators, Infinite Light, Ltd is in a constant to-and-fro between styles – drifting into giant drone passageways, veering off into folky lo-fi guitar noodling, and stumbling into gentle, piano-lead melancholia. It’s not devoid of an identity exactly; it just refuses to really reveal it. Even after multiple listens to the album, there’s a sense that something is being held back – Infinite Light, Ltd is a puzzle assembled from the outside in, coming to a close before the essential connecting pieces are brought into play. It’s difficult to say whether this is a deliberate move or not.

Ironically, it’s during the more abstract pieces that the record makes the most immediate sense. “December 6” melts together string and guitar ambience while Mat Sweet’s breathy velvet vocals drip over the top (sounding not dissimilar to a Secrets of the Beehive-era David Sylvian). The opening lyric provides the most apt description of the track; vaporous drone fragments gather beneath Sweet’s voice as he croaks, “I tread a broken cloud”. “Weather” is another excellent cut – drums stumble over a guitar that intermittently crackles out rich chords, while the blip and whistle of satellite signals ping across the stereo spectrum.

But the album’s melodic movements prove to be more perplexing. “Vision of God in a Cow Barn” uses a plucked pop melody that sounds like an Elliot Smith rip-off for two fingers, while “The Bullet Sent to Kill Me is Already on its Way” rises into a cliché-ridden post-rock jam. It’s strange to hear the record hauled out of its immersive drone depths and placed in the company of simplistic guitar sketches such as these, yet this is a common juxtaposition throughout Infinite Light, Ltd – the band jerk arbitrarily between various styles, picking them up and swiping them away again before they have chance to settle. The album is like a statement left intentionally unfinished, leaving a frustrated listener to reflect upon what could possibly plug the gaps and bring sense to a fragmented truth.