Review Summary: Godspeed You! Swarming Sparrows.
Post Rock Premium Blend
- 1/2 oz Godspeed
- 1/4 oz Mono
- 1/4 oz Do Make Say Think
- Small Pinch of Sigur Ros
- Top with Whipped Cream and Caramel
- Serve Hot
Sounds delicious doesn't it? Take the eerie melodies and ominous audio samples of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the build and release climaxes of Mono, the forward-thinking progression of Do Make Say Think and throw in a small dose of ambiguity from Sigur Ros and you've got the perfect post-rock band. Sparrows Swarm and Sing might not follow this recipe ounce for ounce, but they get very very
close. The New York based sextet have composed a stunning work of post-rock beauty on their second EP, Untitled #2
. The EP only contains three tracks, none of which are given a proper title (sound familiar?), and clocks in at a mere 28 minutes. Truthfully Untitled #2
is the best post-rock EP second only to Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
Hyperbolic statements aside, the music does hold up to these grandiose claims. A train comes screeching in and an old man begins explaining the nuances of manmade and God created materials in the world as the deep sound of a cello ringing out drones underneath. "...But only God can make a tree. Can you make one?," the main states as a soothing guitar melody enters, matching the man's tone. Slowly creeping along 'Part 1' acts like long alleyway leading you to an even darker road that is bustling with adventure. The Sparrows tease the listener with a short burst of energy stemming from a marching drum beat and a Mono-like fast strumming of the rhythm guitar, but quickly comes to a halt as the track continues on into the next. The cello sounds out a frighteningly dark note as each of the guitars add to the atmosphere with chilling melodies. This three minute calm could have been written by the masters themselves and thrown into F♯A♯∞
. Drums enter and the tempo quickens leading the track into a Do Make Say Think-esque jam. The violin gets it's spot in the limelight as it takes over the lead melody with double bass filling in the cracks. Faint screams of "OOOH OOOH OOOOH" can be heard in the background as the track explodes with energy. This massive climax will send shivers down ones spine as it comes to a close giving way to the twelve minute epic that follows.
Another old man enters, sounding almost exactly like that of the man in 'Sleep' (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), telling a story of how his daughter was given the nickname of Moon. Once again the Sparrows display an uncanny ability to work around a sample as another soft guitar melody coupled with a scratching violin accompany the man's voice. The song slowly moves along until the violin nearly breaks it's strings segueing into a dual drum solo and a fast strumming rhythm guitar. The climax switches from a loud Mono-like crescendo to a smooth Do Make Say Think jam and back again in under three minutes. And this is only the first climax. After a short pause the band returns with another soul-crushing climax that cannot be done justice with mere words. A short violin line brings the track to a close, but the band isn't quite done yet. Static glitches a number of times before synthesizer organ and double bass enter for a short moment, introducing a sample of children laughing and playing. It is as if the EP has come full circle; beginning with discussions of God-created objects such as trees, to an old man near death reminiscing about his daughter and comes back around to the future generation laughing and playing. A handful of music boxes being played at the same time ends the record on a more mysterious note.
Sparrows Swarm and Sing might have spilled some ingredients while mixing the post rock premium blend, but that is all well and okay. From beginning to end the EP will hold ones attention. From the somewhat cynical audio samples and paired melodies to the multiple climaxes, Untitled #2
is a superb piece of music. I dare anyone reading this to find a better post rock EP than Sparrows Swarm and Sing's Untitled #2