Reviewed by: Foofer
When I learned that two members of Not Just To Drink And Dream were brothers (The Guitarist and Drummer, Roger and Stuart Gallant), I could hardly contain my excitement. To me, this is something significant. Just to give you an idea of why this is an important fact to me, let me show you some other bands that have brothers in their lineup.
Pelican (Bassist and Drummer, Bryan and Larry Herweg)
If These Trees Could Talk (Guitarist and Drummer, Cody and Zack Kelly)
Set And Setting (Guitarist and Drummer, Shane and Stephen Handal)
These three bands are some of my favorites, and they all make amazing music (Set And Setting is coming out with a new album soon, just FYI) so of course I’m already putting Not Just To Drink And Dream up against some of the bigger names in the post-rock scene. Looking back, I can’t honestly say it’s a fair comparison. But I can’t honestly say they didn’t fall flat on their faces.
Aerial Shots starts out with a few notes in the distance, and almost try to startle you with a sudden blast, then almost immediately float into dreamy sort of jam session, long and drawn phrases draped over drumming so slow it could be called laziness. Absolutely beautiful. It builds up almost instantaneously and just when it sees to be taking on a climactic ending, it just dies. It was really big, adding really cool layers… and it dies. Kinda kills you inside.
The music is revived with a guitar recording so pristine, you can hear the amplified sound and the unamplified sound, with the fingers on the strings, and the strings making infinitesimal noises against the frets as he slides up and down the neck. All back up by the softest hush on the keyboards. An absolutely heart-warming intro. But then someone decided to flip a switch and get loud again. I’ll get back to this complaint in a bit.
The album continues in pretty much the same manner for the remainder of its running time, but it took me three times round on repeat to notice, I enjoy this album so much. But now I must address the biggest problem with Aerial Shots. They suck at transition. Every single song started out with a gorgeous soundtrack of an angel’s heart, and it suddenly goes to the roar of a lion. I mean I’m not really complaining, they really sound very cohesive and dynamic when they’re really going at it, but they just sound so so good when they’re quiet, I never want it to end. Also, I don’t think I’d mind it so much if they actually made some sort of effort to make the transition from quiet to loud a bit smoother. It’s like FRAMES’ “InVia” album: It’s either on or off, there is no inbetween.
On top of all this, there’s almost no difference in structure throughout the entire album, very much like that god-awful one-man project Sleep Dealer that I reviewed last year. Start off quietly, get real loud for a bit, get quiet again, and then be real loud until you get tired of playing and kill the song. Repeat as necessary.
Even with a broken volume knob and one strategy in their playbook, they definitely scored big points with me. It’s a very easy and accessible album to listen to, and it’s a very well done album, I cannot get over the recording quality on the guitars. The drumming is more subtle and appropriate than most other bands are. Most times the drumming is either vulgar and in your face, or it’s so subdued you forget it’s there at all. Definitely give these guys a college try, because I think they just might be worth it, the whole brothers thing definitely has nothing to do with it.
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NEXT WEEK: Civil Protection’s “Stolen Fire”.