The Early Day Miners Good Time Band is back with another platter of Midwest post-goth. Having already introduced their new rhythm section (Matt Griffin on drums and Jonathan Richardson on bass) to the world over the course of their last two tours, with All Harm Ends Here Early Day Miners have combined the lushness of their second album Let Us Garlands Bring with the conciseness of their last full-length Jefferson At Rest.
Moreso than on any of their previous efforts, EDM take both musical and tonal cues from the principal architects of the 80′s sad-as-hell dark underground – Echo & the Bunnymen, the Church, early-the Cure, and most notably the Bauhaus/Tones On Tail/Love And Rockets axis.
While contemporaries like Bedhead and Interpol have mined primarily the darkest aspects of these long shadows, there lies in Early Day Miners’ method an innate sense of hope that transcends even their darkest themes (decay, suicide, desertion). Perhaps this is most evident in the guitar interplay of long-time collaborators Dan Burton (Ativin) and Joseph Brumley.
Arpeggios abound, the works of Roger McGuinn and The Edge come to mind in that there is a sense of hopefulness and sublimation which drives the songs to a better place. While the album is filled with death and ghosts of all sorts, its unifying theme is the individual’s ability to escape the death and ghosts. Even the making of the album (which was done just outside of the band’s hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, on the outskirts of Hoosier National Forest) was plagued by ghosts and phantoms. Recorded at the Old Mt. Gilead Church – recently revamped into a recording studio and still immediately surrounded on three sides by a dozen acres of 150-year old cemetery – principal tracking for All Harm Ends Here was halted for days at a time on multiple occasions when inexplicable flutter infected the reels of tape, almost requiring EDM to relocate its principal tracking altogether.
Mixing and overdubbing was done at Burton’s own Grotto Home Studio in an effort to evade those ghosts in the machine which possessed Old Mt. Gilead. While the Early Day Miners don’t make flashy music, their layered music rewards the repeat listener. If you listen closely enough, in fact, you can hear ghosts in the distance.
“Bloomington, Indiana’s Early Day Miners are building sonic templates that pay tribute to the ambient models of Brian Eno, the feedback zombie drones of the Jesus & Mary Chain, the frosted alienation of Joy Division and the sublime melancholy heart of Trembling Blue Stars.”
“It’s a marvel to see this sort of restraint in rock music. It almost seems unnatural or paradoxical at first. But when done properly, as with EDM, the results are very convincing.”
“The nearest reference points are Low and the Red House Painters. They are equally adept at drawing out a sketch of sound, starting near blank, filling in lines, shading with shimmers of guitar building up into a louder, thicker sound and weaving patterns.”
Pop Culture Press