It’s far too easy to list other bands you might know in order to identify if this record is going to interest you. So…i wont immediately genre-cast the material….
It’s purely an observation of mine that people lately have a low tolerance for waiting even a moment longer than they have to before finding enjoyment. (>skip add in 3 sec<)
Some people wont even read this far because i havn’t yet referenced something familiar about the music. Well kudos to you! A band can spend months, even years crafting a work which lasts only a few minutes to have it unceremoniously dismissed in seconds as being too this or too that for the listeners tastes.
This hits hard when the artist leans towards anything progressive/post-rock/mathy/ambient or alternative. I’m certain lots of people out there would probably get right into this but simply wont because there’s no chorus at the 15-20 second mark. I’m not saying everyone one who likes pop songs has ADD, but we really are fed highly polished ear candy via nearly every audible medium these days.
This band will expand your ability to appreciate music and the time taken to achieve intense and emotive peaks and crescendo’s. You don’t get that kind of shit on the radio. You don’t get anything of substance out of recycled-sugar coated pop factory off cuts.
‘Signals for Motion’ is a 7 track album which I’ll describe as melodic-progressive post-rock. Songs range from 3-7 minutes long and feature a healthy amount of noodly/mathy guitars dripping with delay & effects. The drumming is superb. It’s tight & super busy but when needed is straight forward. The bass lines that fill out the rhythm section are sublime. The overdriven/dirty bass sometimes steals the attention actually with its own busy lines and complimentary riffing with the guitar but when the drums open up and go big, the bass gets some room to carry riff/chord progressions and the sound is huge. Like.. Muse huge. Like..QOTSA huge. Yeh. And this happens often.
Each track takes the time to establish its foundational rhythm/melody/riffage and builds up to a monumental peak before deconstructing and winding back down to an end. Usually descending into an ambient intro/interlude bit. They don’t sound like Tool .. but consider the way a band like that takes you on a journey. Like that.
Vocally.. this is so next level.. i cant even. Luke’s vocal range is on show in each of his performances throughout the album. He can go high. Really high. This is a point made early on and better yet..it’s used tastefully and with dramatic effect. In equal portion to say.. how a harder band might use screaming. But hey.. he can do that too! So with the concept of dynamics clearly in the bag, the melodies are lush, layers of harmonies and backing vocals are beautiful and overall.. it’s damn hard to fault this material.
Comparisons to other great bands that have a high range vocalist, proggy compositions and noodly guitars are expected. (Closure *cough* Moscow* cough*) However .. unlike so many others .. this is really accessible and not overly complicated. There’s clever off-time stuff, straight up rock passages and then these out-of-nowhere gear changes that leave you going ‘what just happened?’. It’s quite unpredictable but the flow from bit-to bit is never lost.
The album is closed off with an instrumental piece which i can only describe as cinematic. It contains a sample of some guy lecturing/ranting some pretty inspirational stuff whilst the band soars and climbs to a huge ending. The guitars pretty much take this one to its heights..lots of delay and noise.. very ‘Explosions In the Sky’. Very good.
Overall, this is a killer album. The local scene in the Melbourne’s East hasn’t produced something this polished or ambitious in years (House*cough* Hurricane *cough*). I wouldn’t anticipate radio play but if a band like Karnivool can get it, then these guys have a ready made market set to consume Australia’s next offering. Despite all that, I think we’ll be seeing the name on some sweet posters and tour bills if there’s any justice in the world.
RIYL: Closure in Moscow, Russian Circles, Mars Volta, MuteMath, Explosions In The Sky