Thursday, November 1, 2012
An Autumn For Crippled Children: Only the Ocean Knows
So this is what happens when the whole post- rock shoe gaze black metal thing wanders out into the black yonder. Not only is this not black metal but it's almost not metal and the harsh vocals are apologetically mixed behind the swell of guitar. Did I come on to strong because none of these things are bad as much as I loved the last album, people change and artists progress. The band is still making interesting music just move out of the way to avoid lighting if the say this is our heaviest album yet.
The opening number sounds like Explosions in the Sky if the caught rabies. The song has enough movement and double bass, the most metal element present to avoid losing you in its drone. Gone are the very Cureish guitar parts, they are going for almost an A Place to Bury strangers attack.
"Yes, I know...love and death...always" start with a wall of fuzz on the guitar, and not in a stoner rock way it seems to be more of a production choice, based on the ebb and flow from the break down which uses a tone more typical for them, this song builds in intensity for sure and gets sonically heavy but not metal despite the wretched vocals being screamed down the hallway.
"This garden these trees" is murky shoe gaze affair the firt verse portion almost doesn't seem to have form except for the drums trying to make sense of it all and the bassist who is excellent for this style of music seem to be dog paddling in a whirlpool here. This is one of those I'm going to have to give multiple listens and see if it takes.
"in february" is a slower piece of melancholy, that builds into a heavier dynamic keeping the same pace allowing the vocals to set the intensity. They are masked behind a cloak of distortion, not varying much in pitch or agony level. This loud to soft thing is nothing new but works for this song.
The title track starts in a languid My Bloody Valentine sway, the brief keyboard wash is a cue for the predictable distortion to come in with screaming in tow.the bass punching punching under neath the subtle transition is a smart touch, since it's not my first rodeo with shoe gaze there are no surprises for me, though I would like to know if they are stil programming the drums, I like the obviously programmed that come in at the third break downand the piano part floating in a nice touch, a lot of attention to detail on this song.
"the first snow this year" has a sweet heroin shimmer not unlike something Sigur Rios do , until of course the streams and distortion come to melt the snow, fitting as this song has a feel of ice dripping for me. The tremolo picked part is subtle and not black metal but more Explosions in the Sky, in fact not a lot of metal could be referenced to this album.it more like they have taken a couple of metal elements primarily the vocals and some of the drum patterns and applied them to post rock rather than being a metal band who incorporates post rock elements.
"uncureable" starts with a bass line and delayed guitar and conceals into a very Slowdive drive on the verse. It struck me on this one that this is going to be the best post rock album that indie are going to miss out on this year. These guys have adopted perfect mastery of this style rather than dabbling in it. The melody that rises out of the final minute of this one is really cool and should be played I hipster coffee shops everywhere.
This bassist is basically the shit is what I'm thinking once it gets to "the rising tide" the vocal approach by the last song seems a little tired but due to the production it comes across more like layer of static you tune out. They snarl they slur into once the song kicks back in, is the only distinct trait I seem them having on the song s opposed to the rest of the album. By design they are recorded to ignore making this an easy fact to overlook unless you key in on them and they might be deal breaker for some despite the awesome dynamic build on this song.
So I can go ahead and score this one pretty, easy and avoid trying to sell myself on the whirlpool song,if this winds up on my top ten list it won't be on the metal list, while excellent in execution and the growth away from metal is handled respectably enough there are still some elements from their previous sounds I wish had been incorporated here rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water, so for this reason it gets rounded down to an 8.5, nothing to be ashamed of and worth a listen but I hope for them to bring back there more dismal side.