Monday, August 7, 2017

Cloakroom : "Time Well"

While they have a burly guitar tone there is no denying that the opener of  Cloakroom's new album is shoe-gaze. The drumming is very tasteful and the guitar tone shifts with fluid grace. I guess it could be grunge tinged at times if we are calling early Smashing Pumpkins grunge. The vocals sound like they are very depressed stoned and falling asleep. But that works for the mood they have created. "Big World" has more of an indie rock jangle to it. The bass is beefed up when they kick it with the distortion. The vocals also have more feeling to them.They actually contribute with a melody that helps carry the latter half of the song.

There is more of a stomp to the jangle of "Concrete Gallery" that reminds me of when grunge and indie rock met in the 90s , with bands like Sebadoh and Pavement. The hazy melody is somewhat up beat even in it's lethargy.  The is more weight behind "Seedless Star". It has more heft than even say Dinosaur Jr, so bordering on metal. But still not quite there in terms of heaviness. The first song that doesn't connect with me as strongly as the others is "Sickle Moon Blues" . I know slow is there thing, but it kinda drags a little without justification of dynamics to sell me on it. They drift off into a gospel version of the kind of slow core that Low invented. There is almost a country feel to "the Sun Won't Let Us Go". The vocals are more tuneful, but not mustering much more energy, though they do reach for a higher note here and there.

If I still smoked pot I think a song like title track would work better for me. Perhaps it might just need to grow on me. The clean strum of guitar is a nice dynamic change so they get credit for that. I had to listen to "52 hz Whale" a couple of times to get it and even then it still needed to wake up a little, though it does have the same hypnotic pull as Jesu if they were not metal. It's another song that takes time to grow on me and when I really focused on what was going on enjoyed it. The album closes with "the Passenger". They do rock out in short bursts on the last song and it's more dynamic than many of the songs. They also delve into more beautiful guitar tones as if this album didn't have enough. I'll give this one a 9.5.

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