Candle Power


Rat Columns is the mutable musical project of David West, an artist as prolific as he is diverse in his output. West is the driving force behind the groups Rank/Xerox, Liberation, and Lace Curtain, he was also a member of Total Control, and most recently debuted a solo album proper. Whether its forward-facing punk or turning his hand to crafting sleek prisms of pop, West's credentials check out. Rat Columns is no exception, always central to his vision and returned to many times since its inception in Perth almost a decade ago. A third album, entitled Candle Power, was recorded in Guildford, Western Australia, with the Perth crew of West, Amber Gempton, Louis Hooper, and Chris Cobilis, Candle Power sees the band's universe of chiming guitar pop explode into new worlds of color and shade. Candle Power tunnels further than ever before down the pop mainline, cutting in with moments of soul, disco, and experimental plots. West is a magpie-like musician, unafraid to assemble songs from a motley collection of influences and ideas. He weaves songs together with a deft hand and an acute grasp for the memorable yet momentary. A drumroll sputters to life kicking off the album with first track "Someone Else's Dream", a bittersweet remonstrance underscored by West and Gempton's shared vocals, vivid keyboards, guitar jangle, and a resolute beat. On "Time's No Vessel" West laments against a dreamy guitar refrain that's pure Johnny Marr. "Blinded By The Shadow" marks an about turn for the album, seeing the record start to flex its motorik muscles with a sequenced bassline and rock-solid drumbeat. "Is This Really What You're Like?" takes on a similar focused shuffle only with a more minimal demeanor. Whilst, "Candle Power II" takes the disco to the other side of the tracks with its shimmering synths, violin drones, and uniform beat. "Northern Soul" chases its own heartbeat through lush, sweeping synths and hushed refrains. "Dream Tonight" concludes the album with its propulsive drum machine, searching keyboard lines, and effusive bassline. It's a tour de force of pristine pop akin to New Order in its ability to capture this mercurial feeling, to listen through the music. Candle Power as an album is enamored with the fleeting, the difference between letting go and moving on.