Venice Is Sinking

Venice Is Sinking may seem like a less than descriptive moniker for this Athens, Georgia quintet, but the overcast melodies that pervade the band's full-length debut do project a clear sense of despair. Nevertheless an undeniably haunting sound is etched in these sad, sweet songs, as manifested in the forlorn violin of "Pulaski Heights" and the idyllic sway of "Andropolis." So, too, the shimmering, atmospheric arrangements that envelope the appropriately titled "To Your Ghost" and the evocative "Arkansas" add further texture to the album's eerie yet oddly appealing ambiance. Even so, Sorry About the Flowers provides precious little variation in tone or tempo, especially considering that nearly all of its tracks hold to the same languid outlook. The mood never really abates, and the clouds that darken these proceedings offer no hint of a silver lining. The little bit of respite there is comes by way of the odd new-age detour of the closing cut, "Blue by Late," which turns out to be the album's major misstep. However, given the group's success in creating an overall imprint, this album offers little, if any, need to apologize.

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Lee Zimmerman