Review Summary: Guitar-based ambience with a purpose and a soul.
The advent of electronic instruments has made the task of conveying the sounds of nature all the easier. Despite that subtle irony that something artificial can attempt to recreate what is natural, it is this ability that has caused the rise of ambient artists. Perhaps the most common allusion to nature in these newfound sounds, especially with guitar effects, is the sound of the ocean. Countless times have I listened to music and imagined the regularity of the tide, the moon pulling and twisting the ocean in a way so complicated that few begin to understand its patterns. Yet we do, as this young band notes, all inherit the moon and its powers, and take it for granted.
The music of We All Inherit the Moon certainly fits the name of their band and debut mini-LP. It's ambient in the sense that it drifts, almost aimlessly, but has an underlying rhythm to it that connects everything. The melodies soar without any regard for time signature or regularity, simply because there isn't any noticeable groove to any of the album. In fact, hardly any of the album has any percussion at all. “Part I” uses it – a splash of rim clicks, snare hits, and cymbals used only to disorient the listener further. “Part IV”, the anomaly of the album rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically, has an intelligible rhythm (with drum accompaniment) and melody about it, and might fall well into an Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You album. The rest of the album works much like the tide, endlessly growing and fading, together but not precisely, with each voice having its own separate path.
Reliant on guitar effects and sparse piano, the album draws its sound from Eluvium on Talk Amongst the Trees
with a tinge of Hammock, but more layered due to the abilities of having multiple members. Harmonically, the album is quite static, with most songs based around one chord (in fact, Parts I-III stay in the same key). Thus, the free nature of the music allows it to thrive more than anything. Both relaxing and enthralling, its placidity allows the listener to relax in its atmosphere, but the constant tension and release created by all the entering and exiting guitar tones is enough to warrant a close, detail-oriented listen.
Of course, the 19 minute mini-LP passes quickly. Some of their contemporaries have written songs longer than the entire album. Still, its brevity is more of a strength than anything, since the few tricks they have up their sleeve never wear thin. Despite the album's central tonality and nature, it lacks an intelligible flow from song to song. The album starts and ends without any real meaning; in fact, “Part IV” might have made a better closer than “Part V.” “Part IV” is clearly a high point and place of resolution, entering a territory of familiarity for the listener. Still, the meandering style, entering and exiting as it pleases, all helps create that oceanic image.
Stream and download the entire album at www.myspace.com/weallinheritthemoon