City of Heracleion is the most recent release from Futurerecordings, an experimental label from the UK. I immediately knew that this was something I should at least try out, because they’ve had a pretty good track record with bands like Years of Rice and Salt, and The End of The Ocean.
The album consists of two purely enormous songs, both clocking in at just over twenty minutes. It reminds me of the first time I found Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “What, 17 minutes long, how is that even possible?!” But just like my experience with F#A#Infinity, my skepticism was melted away into awe after being immersed into a lush atmosphere of noises and textures.
With that, this album is probably the heaviest I’ve reviewed outside of the Those Amongst Us Are Wolves roundtable. It’s a very thick sound, which makes for easy listening after the airy intro. Everything just surrounds you and penetrates you with its heaviness. And I will be the first to say that I am by no means a Doom Metal fan, but this is something I can really get behind. This is a musical journey that no one should miss out on. If any album of 2014 deserves a vinyl pressing, it is this album right here.
(Even if you don’t care for this album, be sure to check out futurerecording’s bandcamp, there are so many other genres on display there. I highly recommend Years of Rice and Salt.)
On the opposite end of things, Sine of Life is anything but thick and heavy. With its heavy usage of the Acoustic Guitar and its simple structures, it’s quite homey. It’s warm and inviting, loving and intimate. It’s been so long since I’ve heard the Acoustic guitar used for post-rock in such a central manner. To top it off, they from my home state! To be honest, when I saw the ‘Idaho’ tag on bandcamp, I was expecting the worst. There’s something about this state that makes for so much terrible music. Might have to do with the fact that Idaho has the highest mental retardation rates in the USA…
This music is the soundtrack for someone like me in a cafe, writing about music like this. It’s too chill to not be in a cafe. Even when they do use the electric guitar, it has a very laid back role in the overall sound. My only issue are the fake instruments, but they’re understandable when you live in the small, small town of Jerome, Idaho.
It’s the most charming little album you’ll ever find, and I cannot emphasize enough the fact that you should listen to both of these beautiful, though varied, albums.
Next week: Sundry Commentary pt. II
There are some times when you and an album just click. The Wax Girl’s debut EP ‘Anosmic’ really struck a chord within me, and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s been on repeat for the past week. This magnificent Canadian band has crafted something extraordinary.
Unlike most other post-rock bands, the guitar doesn’t strike me as their go-to instrument. The first track ‘Consciousness’ makes me think up new genres like synth-drone, it’s so fluffy and soothing like a new pillow. It really sets you up nicely for the remainder of the EP; the very meaning of mellow.
The way ‘Broken Space’ starts is unique, the guitar effects are set up in such a way that it sounds like droplets falling into a small pond, making ripples as they hit the calm surface. The whole track reminds me of a glassy lake. I would like to point out that I’ve never heard a warmer bass tone in my life.
‘Unknown Location’ wakes you up a little bit more, not unlike that moment when you wake up, reposition yourself, and fall back asleep. It has a little bit more girth to its sound with the guitars playing full chords, and the drums maintaining a steadier beat than before. The recording quality on the acoustic guitar is quite impressive, I like the fact that I can hear fingers rubbing against the strings.
‘Departure’ delivers a soundscape similar to what you’d expect from a Banjo-less Lowercase Noises; multi-layered guitars atop a soft bed of synth tones. Some of the guitar’s effects are so heavy, it almost sounds like it’s being played underwater. It’s not something you’d really hear your first time through, which gives this album some replayability value. Not something you can really say often about post-rock.
A title like ‘Sleep Disorder’ confirms my ideas about this being a very sleepy EP, even though this song isn’t nearly as calm as the others. This is a bit more like typical post-rock with tremolo picking and a sluggish and distinct crescendo throughout the entire piece. It doesn’t really seem to cultivate itself into the stereotypical wall of sound, but that would ruin its sleepy theme. So in the end, it really fits together quite well, despite my usual dislike for anticlimactic music.
My suggestion to you is to listen to this when you’re getting ready for bed, or whenever you happen to be just sleepy enough to be at peace with the world despite your stresses and obligations. Give this a spin, and then sleep. I’m not saying that this music sucks and puts you to sleep, not at all. I just think it’s the perfect soundtrack to any mellow or relaxed time during your day. You will certainly have time to listen to it from beginning to finish, seeing that it’s just under 19 minutes long. I’ve already listened to it twice while writing about it.
The talent is there, the effects and textures are all there, the production value is certainly there, I cannot think of a single thing I don’t like about this EP, which is why I’m not skimping out and doing a Foofer Twofer. Quit reading this and go listen, right now. 10 out of 10 burning cars.