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May 14, 2003

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"Infinite Keys" is the first release for the Oklahoma based Ester Drang on Jade Tree Records. Prior to working with Jade Tree the band released a full-length (Goldenwest)with Philly based label Burnt Toast Vinyl. The band is currently on tour with labelmates Pedro the Lion.

It's about time this band have gotten some more attention in the indie rock world. A friend had recommended that I check out this band at the Cornerstone Festival in 2000. I was immediately impressed by the scope of this band. Here we are 3 years later...

"Infinite keys" is the band's debut for Jade Tree Records. This isn't much of a departure from the band's last full-length on Burnt Toast Vinyl, however the majority of the songs on this newest disc are a bit shorter and more formulaic than it's predesessor. This isn't a bad thing. But some fans may be surprised by the change in song lengths. At any rate, Ester Drang still create beautifully layered landscapes of sound. Attached to lazy beats that make your head bob you'll find bass, guitar, rhodes and the occasional spattering of saxophone or instruments not included in the band's standard arsenal.

The disc starts off with the almost chaotic sounding "Temple Mount" then from there steadies itself on a path of melancholy/dreamy atmosphere. Lyrically the album seems anchored around the band's spiritual beliefs without coming off as cheesey or forced.

Grade: B