Loop had been an entity for four years and five albums (a singles comp, Eternal: The Singles, had been released as a kind of follow-on to The World in your Eyes), but A Gilded Eternity was their third really-really studio effort and followed very closely upon the heels of the previous two, with, of course, noticeable evolutions, such as the tinges of Quicksilver Messenger Service at their most psychedelicized in Vapour. This LP was probably their most "traditionally" progressive, which is to say it was structured in ways that recalled the halcyon 70s as well as the movement's rebirth in the late 80s with such groups as Porcupine Tree, Afterglow being particularly notable in that manner, the sort of cool outtake one might've found on the cutting room floor after The Sky Moves Sideways was wrapped up. This brand new twofer re-release remasters Eternity and adds a whole lot of goodies on top.
Blood starts incorporating Bill Nelson-esque repeating loops a la the post Be-Bop Deluxe Cocteau label period. A Frippian buzzline guitar rests atop while clustered phased repeating vocals garble out their paranoid visions. Robert Hampson and the boys are, as was noted in another of the reviews in this series, following the established blueprint but here projecting it more three-dimensionally. The Stoogey Ron Asheton lines remain, as in Breathe into Me, but not quite as often invoked, replaced by more adventurous explorations, the guitarists starting to really dig into their instruments.
As with the rest of this clutch of very pleasing re-issues, the bonus disc features alternate versions of the original release's songs—sufficiently varied as to make even the stodgiest fan smile in carnal pleasure—and a good deal more besides. Gilded was the combo's swan song, after which Hampson formed Main, another interesting but much more ambientalized and radicalized venture, and the advent of the later effort is occasionally prefigured here. In any event, though, the deluxe treatment of this band's history is a worthy, even a tributary, entry in the ongoing rethinking of a huge swath of rock and roll that was insufficiently heeded the first time around, waiting for tastes and styles to catch up. As succeeding generations morph and meld into each other, that time has come, and Loop's work is more vital than ever.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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