Review Summary: Eastern-flavoured post-rock that walks the line between familiar and unique.
While there is a tedency to think of post-rock as a style of music that has been exhausted, recent releases such as Do Make Say Think
's You, You're a History in Rust
are hopefully helping to change perspectives. While the huge major key climaxes popularised by bands such as Explosions in the Sky
are starting to wear a little thin, bands such as Grails[/]l, [l]Dirty Three
and the aforementioned Do Make Say Think are doing their part to inject some originality into the genre, proving it's not necessarily dead.
are post-rock group from Greenville, Illinois who, perhaps in a couple of releases' time, could well earn a place among these bands. Influenced by by artists such as Claude Debussy
, Sir John Tavener
and The Mars Volta
, as well as the usual Sigur Ros
and Explosions in the Sky, Wembly Shadwell have a sound that is impressively original, especially for such a young band. Shapeshifter
is their first (more or less) release and while some of it will certainly sound familiar to anyone with a reasonable knowledge of the post-rock genre, it contains plenty of unique qualities that are sure to impress anyone with interest. Consisting of four members, Wembly Shadwell use acoustic and electric guitars, drums, bass and vocals to achieve their desired sound.
begins with a Eastern-sounding acoustic guitar riff that could have ripped straight out of a documentary about Egyptian pyramids. The riff itself is unlike anything you're likely to hear on your typical post-rock record, yet it is handled in typical post-rock fashion (that is, the riff is gradually built on until an enormous crescendo occurs). "Conception" is essentially the midpoint in terms of uniqueness on Shapeshifter
. On one hand, there are songs like "Enlightenment" that are more or less typical post-rock fare. On the other, there are songs like "Chaos", that instead of building up to a cheesy major key climax, becomes a storm of atonal noise. "What Says the Beak Poet" is possibly the album's best moment, containing its only instance of vocals. After listening to 20 odd minutes of instrumental music, Ramirez's voice is a pleasant surprise. Sounding nearly identical to Toby Driver
(of Kayo Dot
), Ramirez's is another nice addition to Wembly Shadwell's unique sound.
is a fine piece of work; unique enough to be interesting and suitably typical of the genre for fans of it to be interested. And although this 25 minute EP is impressive, I get the feeling that Wembly's best days are ahead of them. For now, Shapeshifter
is a unique, interesting and altogether enjoyable release.]
Interesting riffs and melodies
Instrumentation is familiar but also slightly different from standard post-rock
Use of dynamics may feel a little tired
"What Says the Beak Poet" can drag a little towards the end
Axis Mundi I: Conception
Axis Mundi V: Enlightenment
What Says the Beak Poet
Final Rating: 3.5/5