Alcian are a New York based 4-piece who bring to the table qualities most similar to Collapse Under the Empire. Their 2012 Demo was released in March and is 3 tracks topping 22 minutes in length.
“Echoes Across the Sea” is the intro track and shoots out of the gate with crescendo and looping guitar work hanging around in the foreground while crashing cymbals take front and center during the heavier break downs. I’m not going to be too rough on this EP as it is a demo and a decent one at that, but this is probably the flattest equalized track I’ve heard all year. Mellow yet vibrant bass makes its presence known in the next track “This Way to the Stars,” an upbeat and fun track that draws comparisons to the band Mooncake. This track has a really strange transition in it halfway through it that makes me feel it would almost be better suited as two tracks. Cymbals are minimal and well-timed during the softer segments while elegant guitar work is beautifully layered to create a spacious echo.
My interested peaked off the charts hearing the voice of John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn during the opening samples of “The Quick and the Dead.” Both the original and the remake of True Grit are two of my favorite Westerns of all time so to hear The Duke yelling out “Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!” at the start of any song just makes me feel giddy. Even the track itself has a western tone to it. Guitars slowly wail as a persistent cymbal tapping slowly becomes full-scale crashing. Crescendo guitars spiral in the background behind amplifier feedback. This track has all the makings of a legendary post-rock track and is without question the band’s best work. Alcian saved the best for last and this demo is worth checking out based on this track alone.
This 3-track demo is a good starting point for Alcian and if they can continue to produce high quality work with proper mastering they should be a welcome addition to the post-rock scene! 7-20-12
Pay what you want at http://alcian.bandcamp.com/