Martin : When Tau Cross released their eponymous debut two years ago, it was most of all a relief to see that Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller managed to soldier on and release new music after the unfortunate (second) demise of Amebix. Although it was very clear from the get go that Tau Cross is not Amebix, the debut was pretty much a continuation of the themes and sounds that Miller explored on ‘Sonic Mass’. Although ‘Pillar Of Fire’ does not mark a radical change in style, it does establish Tau Cross as a band in its own right. Firstly, the album is more of a collective effort, with several members contributing songs. Secondly, Tau Cross really seem to have identified the core strengths of the debut and built from them. Because of that, ‘Pillar Of Fire’ is an album full of genuine anthems.
The slightly ProToolsy production is a bit of an acquired taste, but move beyond that and the album really starts to unfold itself. Every single song is an earworm; if anything, the best songs on ‘Pillar Of Fire’ can be found on the second half, so the album gains momentum rather than losing it. The years of experience that each band member brought to the fold really show themselves in a phenomenal feel for melodies, hooks, choruses and grooves. It almost sounds effortless. Meanwhile, Rob Miller expands his unique lyrical universe, exploring more facets of his voice in the process.
The only thing that keeps Tau Cross from reaching their full potential is the fact that they weren’t in the same room when they recorded ‘Pillar Of Fire’. It’s a very good album, but one cannot suppress the feeling that it would have become an even better album had its conception been a bit more organic. Nothing beats the fire of five blokes playing music in the same room, feeding off each other’s energy, so let’s hope this is exactly what Tau Cross will do when recording their third album.