SEIMS – FOUR (Art As Catharsis) 2021

From the opening whispers of ‘FOUR’ from Sydney-siders alt/prog/weird/instrumental/cinematic/art rock/math/jazz/noise core/synth wave group SEIMS…these sonic landscapes swirl and build to inform the listener that we are indeed not in Kansas anymore. With SEIMS playing in the sandbox of score and post-chamber music you’d be forgiven for questioning if this was even the same band? It’s’s unexpected and it’s fresh. But don’t get comfortable.

The sheer fact that this instalment in SEIMS catalogue is 10 parts long should indicate to the listener that they are in for some longform art that will duck and weave, take it’s time and ultimately pay-off in ways the band has only hinted at in previous releases. That was my prediction from the start at least…and…I was right.

By track 3 ‘Showdown Without a Victim’ all is back in familiar territory: drums, synths and weird guitar noises, pulsing and seemingly looping through phrases while jarring my ears orientation to which way is up. Wonderful!

Shouting at a Brick Wall’ is an easy early highlight with a raw and commanding guitar driven performance and the expected intricate layers of sounds. It has the frustration and tension you might expect from the name. There’s a sound evolving here reminiscent of Sleep Makes Waves and Tangled Thoughts of Leaving but it’s entirely their own.

‘Elegance Over Confidence’ shines among the brightest tracks with a piano line ripped from a 2000’s dance track, chaotic drums ripped from that movie ‘Whiplash’ and an explosion of post-rock energy mid-way that brings a head moving pace and concentrated focus. This is amazing!

The closer ‘The Mountains Scream’ is a post-rock dream. Also..not the first time to have some vocals feature and it’s a fitting inclusion. The lead staccato guitar line furiously lays the melody while the chorus of voices sing in a choir-like wave of noise. It’s incredibly effective at inducing goosebumps. Of all the tracks this might be the most familiar to the material on ‘3’ and ‘3.1’ and takes that foundation even further. This is the best thing they’ve ever done.

Production: stellar. Everything hits when it should, everything fits like it ought to.

Compositions: amazing. Breathtaking, shivers, smiles and imagination inspiring.

Accessibility: borderline. If you know this band… you’ll be fine. If you are new to ‘SEIMS’ then buckle the fuck up. Start with the last song first, then work your way in. Like you’re eating a hot pie..nibble around the edges, then when you’re ready go for the middle.

I want nothing more from this. Previous releases were ambitious enough to satisfy but still left room for more. In contrast this is a full course meal. No .. this is a banquet. It will take a long time to full ingest this much art.

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