Review Summary: Cloud Archive shows their raw potential their decently put together release entitled, "Left The Bright Opening.."
Right around this time in late-September, when the days get shorter but they just feel longer, college, like many schools, seems to drag on forever with each lecture and each assignment. Like many students, I turned to music to help me through the dreary work, but none as much as post rock. And while they are not exactly the most serene post rock band, the Oakland based Cloud Archive successfully fills that fall school time void. Their five song EP, Left The Bright Opening..
, fits just the right mood to give any day the much needed jolt.
Cloud Archive’s music keeps within reasonable song lengths unlike many post rock predecessors. The tone and pacing at times is similar to that of Mogwai (think of the song “Summer” among others) at times, but overall a heavier feeling. The five-song EP starts with a somber noise introduction that lingers until the impromptu beginning of “Bring Lions” throttles the record along. While the recording is shoddy, they still manage to make it sound better than it should be. The guitars and bass meticulously work through and maintain a heavy stature. In addition, a simple guitar riff glazes over the bulk of sound to add that little something, whether it is tremolo picking or a select-number-of-note melody. As the intensity slowly dies half way, “Bring Lions” erupts once again for a brief period until the mood turns completely relaxed and slowly fades into the next song. The electronic beat backing the next song, “Never Catch a Falling Knife,” maintains a variation different from the first two songs. Guitars swirl in a daze with a thick, yet smooth bass riff supporting the sound.
After, the interlude-esque “Howcomes Its So Great A Silence Has Fallen?” trudges and acts as a preparation for beautiful eight-minute finale “How To Smoke Roses.” As the guitars gracefully enter, the bass, drums, and electronic effects roll right behind. Unfortunately, the electronic effects rather hinder with just an unnecessary effect to something that needs nothing else. Luckily, the entrance of the glockenspiel (I believe) helps raise the conscience of the song as it swiftly begins to build in intensity. Dancing along after the heaviness has subsided, “How To Smoke Roses” releases one small breath of what is left until the album exits like it began except with more confidence.
Reminiscent of bands like This Will Destroy You and Mogwai among others, Cloud Archive has yet to find an identity to call their own. Even so, they manage to keep their act together and produce a solid EP. Yes, at times, they do have generic characteristics to their music, but that does not mean it is bad music. With any amateur band, there are steps to progress and improve, and they have laid down a solid foundation to work with. Nevertheless, around this time of the year, it is a good idea to have an album like this lying around.