Duke Garwood - The Sand That Falls

Nick Lewis 18/08/2009

Rating: 3/5

Welcome to Duke Garwood's personal peyote trip. He's gone out into the swamp with Dr. John and invoked the spirit of (Starsailor era) Tim Buckley, himself sounding like a mumbling crossbreed of Jeff Buckley and Jose James. It all starts simply enough with a primitive electric country blues workout entitled May I Rumble, all gentle Olu Dara insistence as the mescaline is ingested.

Then the African drums and thumb piano start, they pound as Garwood sits by the fire watching the ghosts dance around it as the drug begins to take effect. Is it a good trip? It's hard to say; the tapping unstructured half-songs (particularly The Horror) seem to be a foreshadowing of Kurtz's madness, the bit where he sits by himself going quietly insane before he explodes in a shower of violence. Except the violence never comes.

Each track is a murmur of a song, not fully formed. It's a psychedelic trip-out with the glimmering of a melody under the surface that's never quite allowed to come up for air. Yeah it's a desert blues thing, which is a great sound but none of it ever goes anywhere.

Finally The Sand That Falls marches you to a ritual Aztec sacrifice, the sand falling from the top of the hourglass to the bottom, and when the last grain drops then everything goes black and silent…

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