Review Summary: In their third release, Jakob's brand of instrumental rock proves to be straight to the point yet emotional and captivating.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Jakob, a relatively unknown rock band from Napier, New Zealand released their third full-length Solace in 2006. Further progressing on their sonic soundscapes of instrumental rock, Solace is a refined and solid record. Despite their obscurity, Jakob manages to create some of the most captivating songs while marking themselves as one of the best instrumental rock bands during their time.
Although the band relies on the usual crescendos and wall of sound approach of many post-rock bands, they manage to deliver a sound straight to the point yet downright mesmerizing. Opener Malachite introduces you to a lone guitar echoing soft chords before floating in a flurry of delayed notes. Pneumonic will appeal to fans of the heavier side of instrumental rock, where sludgy bass lines meet a wash of sweeping, distorted guitar along with ambient echoes. Lonesome starts off with a hazy and laidback beginning before slowly rising into a noisy climax.
Oran Mor and Safety in Numbers is where the band finally gets it perfect. Full of delayed guitar and bass chords amidst ambient atmospheres, we're left to trip inside the music before being pummeled into a perfectly executed climax. Safety in Numbers, probably the most accessible and structured song on the album, is also one of their finest moments. Despite Everything All of the Time being a nine-minute epic, its like laid back movie music. It actually features vocals – if you listen carefully during the climax of the song. What closer Saint lacks in variety makes up for in sheer emotive power. It's the closest you'll get to a "ballad" for a band like this.
What's really impressive is that there are only three people behind this band. Guitarist Jeff Boyle utilizes his delay pedal in the most captivating way in recent memory.
Jakob may shine through instrumental rock bands with their distinct, polished sound and beautiful sonic environments, but the fact is that they are still an instrumental band. Chances are you'll have stopped paying attention half way through a song if it didn't grab you from the beginning. If Isis eliminated their vocals, their sound would come out something along the lines of this record.