Meniscus
Absence of I


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Silveri EMERITUS
November 11th, 2008 | 40 replies | 11,454 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sharp, technical and all around awesome post-rock from Down Under.

Taking a gaze around the post-rock scene today, you'd be excused for thinking that just way too many bands simply focus on airy melodies, floating around and ultimately, just getting lost. Which is why Meniscus' brand of technical post-rock is just about the most refreshing thing to hit the waves in a long, long, long time. If they came out from any other scene, the Sydney based three piece would probably be chewing through the competition and shooting straight to the top of everyone’s to-watch list. Drawing from influences as diverse as Jakob’s free flowing smoothness and Isis’ sluggish groove, the band’s first EP, titled The Absence of I, is a absolute slammer of a instrumental post-rock album. They’ve even got a whole concept involving water bugs and everything – it’s probably very interesting, but it’s sort of hard to honestly gave a damn when the songs here are just so damn good.

And just like the best of the genre, Meniscus have a wizardly sense of dynamics, songs flowing with the purity of water and with transitions so smoothly composed it’s hard to ever hold any of the music down in one spot. Songs shift themselves in between twinklingly light phrases and melodically brutal chug chuginess (well… as ‘brutal’ as you’ll ever find in post-rock) with an ease of abandon. Still, you won’t find the band sticking to any one formula, with “Cusp” and “Pilot” sauntering in and out of heavy/light texturing, and “Mother” building itself up to one of the most wonderfully thick climaxes of the record.

Guitarist Daniel Oreskovic is also the answer to post-rock’s over saturation of garbled noise and tremolo picking, playing with his own sense of crystalline sharpness, the clarity of his lines adding to every song, rather than simply filling them with ambience and noise. (and no, you won't find blazing solos and the like here, sorry). Oreskovic also has somewhat of a love affair going on with his delay pedal, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone as creatively talented with delay effects as this man. Guitar lines here echo like they’re being played inside of an incredibly bare room, bounding off walls and reverberating with either sheer vigor or delicate lightness, depending each song’s own distinctive flow.

And while its rare to see rhythm take centre stage for a genre so focused on melody, special mention here goes out to drummer Duncan Wilson, who is undoubtedly one of the best skinsmen to ever grace the genre – while not absolutely running in circles with his cymbals, you’ll find Wilson laying down ridiculously creative and stupidly tasteful rhythms with the all precision of a peregrine falcon. And my gosh can the man groove –Listening to his cymbal work on “Pilot”, you’d almost be convinced that he’s playing on set of crystal chandleries rather than any sort of drumset, while his tribalish beats on “Idiot Savant/Far” never come off derivative, despite their vogue everywhere else.

Perhaps the only real criticism is that the EP sometimes comes off as a little emotionally cold – the band’s calculated precision in crafting these songs leaving little space for any real warmth, like the sort of beauty captured in a stunning ice sculpture. Some might also take issue with the ten or so minutes of ambient cricket chirping noises that sits in the middle of the twenty-seven minute “Idiot Savant/Far”, but it’s a nice little musical device that adds a touch of something different to the experience.

At only four songs long, Meniscus’ Absence of I EP is the perfect length for a breath of post-rock that isn’t stifling, adding something fresh to a scene that seems forever to be teetering on the edge of blandness. Technically brilliant and tightly composed, here’s to a full length!

3.9/5



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
StreetlightRock
Emeritus
November 11th 2008



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I pretty much can't stand most post-rock, but this is something else.

http://www.myspace.com/meniscusmusic

Drummer has now left the band, which is sad.This Message Edited On 11.11.08

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

rasputin
November 11th 2008



14504 Comments


Good review, will get this.

brandtweathers
November 11th 2008



2009 Comments


havent listened yet, but im feelin like post rock is stalling hard

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
November 11th 2008



862 Comments


This band/review intrigues me, the paragraph on the drummer is especially interesting, shame to hear he's left the band. I probably will check this out soon.

foreverendeared
November 11th 2008



14678 Comments


holy shit this is good

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2008



17114 Comments


must.get.now.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

robin
Emeritus
November 11th 2008



4221 Comments


i want this too

Fina1e
November 11th 2008



123 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was a nice surprise.

willfellmarsy
November 11th 2008



3844 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review...posting to remember to check this out in the near future...technical post-rock and an album title that at least appears to refrence Ayn Rand...count me in

jimay333
November 11th 2008



433 Comments


I've been bamboozled!

jrowa001
November 12th 2008



8749 Comments


ive heard of this band before but never checked them out. i will now

marksellsuswallets
November 12th 2008



4848 Comments


Wow...this is pretty great...wasn't expecting that kind of drumming from a post-rock band...

Listening to his cymbal work on “Pilot”, you’d almost be convinced that he’s playing on set of crystal chandleries


That's exactly what I thought of after a couple minutes...This Message Edited On 11.12.08

rasputin
November 12th 2008



14504 Comments


'Mother' is awesome.

Kage
November 12th 2008



1173 Comments


[QUOTE=Streetlight Rock]I pretty much can't stand most post-rock, but this is something else.[/QUOTE]
lol

brandtweathers
November 12th 2008



2009 Comments


I pretty much can't stand most post-rock, but this is something else.
damaging your review's perspective before listening

willfellmarsy
November 12th 2008



3844 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this was okay...didn't wow me much on the first listen...drumming is refreshing however

foreverendeared
November 12th 2008



14678 Comments


rated after one listen?

willfellmarsy
November 12th 2008



3844 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

always...with more listens it changes...i pretty much re-rate everything i listen to after everytime i listen to it...luckily most of the times it stays the same

foreverendeared
November 12th 2008



14678 Comments


yeah i usually rate pretty quickly and it often doesn't change.

brandtweathers
November 12th 2008



2009 Comments


^then why haven't you rated brand new?



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