Review Summary: Unlike Godspeed You Black Emperor!, And the Furies Say isn't really boring!
Post rock is the relative parallel to the early hardcore scene. Constantly hyped bands that suffer little improvement on a tired equation are mostly what make up post-rock's current saturation of unamusing talent. Sure, an album like say Burton Wagner's "A Sentinel's Eyes" can come along and change my perspective on this staleness, but not every artist can have the relative emotion that comes with being 21-years-old and unsatisfied with a spectrum of life. Most post-rock bands phase their dynamics and emotion through a pretty limited prism of build ups and field recordings, a cenotaph to the seemingly dissolved Montreal post rock super giant Godspeed You Black Emperor! if you will. And the Furies Say is a pretty similarly structured group when compared to GYBE of eight plus members that flirt with post-rock tendencies. Perhaps what makes them unique is that their dedications seem more devoted towards the early '90s "chamber rock" of Louisville's Rachel's. The band also expresses a love for Stravinsky and Penderecki on their Myspace, but those influences seem to come through little on their self-titled release. Perhaps which "composers" they seem to take most from are those of the minimalist movement, like Glass, Reich, or even Palestine.
With a group of instruments that range from melodica to French horn, to call And The Furies Say's sound "lush" is an understatement. Like most orchestral compositions, their sound breathes in realms of extensive interplay. "Engines of the End" perhaps signifies this "chamber" aspect the most. Running through is a repetitious, but hauntingly tragic, piano line as the band skillfully and subtly accents with a realm of brass and cello. Reflecting the bands post-rock ambitions is the tragically minimal composition "Iphigenea," which dredges through a casually depressing guitar line that is slowly built upon with a intensely dense drumming section and echoed full band performance. While it does seem like it could possibly be a unreleased GYBE demo for the first five minutes, the waltz heavy section that concludes the piece is something way too complex and dizzying for those Canadian anarchists. When the unraveling piano lines trigger into the staccato string section to conclude the song, the band's sixth sense of post-rock dynamic triggers an instant emotional response. Although the way they got there is not the same as most bands, the way they play those final moments of crescendo rival any post-rock band's best try. A naysayer could focus on the constant low mood of And The Furies Say's sound or perhaps that their sense of "all things epic" is what is currently wrong with the music scene, but when the band pulls out all their cards on the closer "Silhouettes and Paperbucks," I doubt few can deny the power this group can wield.
Because of their obvious devotion toward a group that predates them by over a decade, I can't in good faith give And The Furies Say's self-titled release a perfect score. Too many of the elements on this record are borrowed and not in vein with the level of evolution I associate with my favorite bands. Still, I can not deny the high level of composition found on this record. While most bands like say Yndi Halda or This Will Destroy You are clearly following a path that is well tread, And The Furies Say are cultured enough to rip from a band that seems to have been lost in the shuffle of post-rock's history. With their self-titled album, they aren't reaching into the genre and doing anything different, but they are doing something that is rarely seen. For that, this album and band interest me. Perhaps, in future recordings, they will prove themselves a more consistent collective than Rachel's, or maybe they will fall into the endless traps of repetition that capture many post-rock bands. For now though, they are seemingly one of the more interesting new post-rock groups, and I'd suggest anyone with a interest in the genre give them a glance because they are a very solid Rachel's "tribute".