Codes In The Clouds
As the Spirit Wanes


3.0
good

Review

by Elijah K. STAFF
January 8th, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you thought that the one thing post-rock needed was another band that sounds like ‘Explosions in the Sky,’ then do I have an album for you!

When approaching a band like Codes in the Clouds, it’s easy to instantly crumple up all reservations and throw them away, becoming completely enamored with what‘s at hand. After all, they’re actually quite pretty in their execution, and the way they carry themselves is somewhat assuring, like seeing an old friend after years of separation. Yet this is where the disconnect must be made; Codes in the Clouds, and namely their album As The Spirit Wanes, is something you’ve heard a dozen times, by a dozen different bands. Regardless of how “sweepingly emotional and painstakingly beautiful” the whole thing may seem, the album is just a traced drawing of masterpieces.

Like a traced drawing, you really only get the outline, not the full effect. The subtle nuances and intricacies are sort of lost. Instead, what you are left with is an outline, and one which captures only a form rather than the entire thing. And honestly, it’s easy to get caught up in the instant gratification of the album, it really is, but too often does the entire product rely on the “default” aspects of post-rock, or rather, things that were beginning to be tiresome a decade ago. Cascading guitar passages and booming climaxes are commonplace on the album. Hell, there’s even a song consisting of some very Mono-like tremolo picking. You see, As The Spirit Wanes shamelessly rips off Explosions in the Sky, early 65daysofstatic, and about a few handfuls of other acts that have broke ground and since moved on. Moved on being the key words here, as the aforementioned acts have made their marks, and since began to pave new grounds, and make new niches. Instead, Codes in the Clouds have decided to play catch up, imitating the accomplishments that those bands made years ago.

Therein lies the issue with the album; it’s a shallow and tepid experience. Since the emotional aspects have seemingly been fabricated, the work is incredibly difficult to become invested in, as everything must be taken at face value. That isn’t to say that much of As The Spirit Wanes isn’t endearing in its own right. Every song is fairly harmless, but essentially very pretty. It has a very warm production, and each guitar tone seems to reverberate off of its surroundings, making for a nicely enveloping sound; dense, welcoming, and comforting. This really helps the album, as it’s really the only thing that is done exceptionally well. I mean, it’s well written and all, but honestly that’s only because it’s been hoisted from other things.

As The Spirit Wane is the definition of a likable album. Likable, but not lovable or memorable. It’s good post-rock that will be hard pressed to leave any impression at all, which is honestly its biggest failing. Sure, a lack of originality is undesirable, but the fact that there is absolutely nothing to take away from this is really what kills it.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrael
January 8th 2011


21003 Comments


Very likable review. Pos.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


19344 Comments


Goddammit first Irving now you.

I should just copy paste my comment from his thread.

But yeah...this is a very solid review...I noticed a slight drop off in the readability of your reviews after your brief hiatus, but I think it is safe to say you are back...and catching up to me very quickly in review totals. Keep it up!

Digging: FKA Twigs - M3LL155X

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


7399 Comments


^ Hahahhahahaha.

But the man's got a point! Each time I do one you do one too; total ground gained on Chenophanes = zero.

Anyway, great review Cheno. To describe my first impression after reading the review, I will borrow heavily from Pokemon-battle-speak:

"IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE!!"

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


19344 Comments


Why do you call him Cheno? I've been busy the past week or so and I don't want to be out of the loop

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


7399 Comments


I just did the math:

Xeno, I am FIFTY reviews behind you. FIFTY. CINQUANTE. If reviewing was a university course and you got a 99% I'd have failed.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


19344 Comments


Yeah if quantity determines everything. That's like saying if I write an awful 100 page paper I'll get 100%. Also, Returntorock would be Sputnik's valedictorian

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


7399 Comments


The pronunciation is similar; Xenophanes = Chenophanes. But cuter.

I tried to do it to you too, but ChowingSeason just makes you sound like a perpetually hungry kid.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


7399 Comments


But Xeno writes good reviews every time! So he's got quality too!

My point is this: relative to you guys, I'm so green on this site I look like American money.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2011


7399 Comments


It does sound the same! (in baby speak at least XD)

Zen-oo = Cheee-no, no? XD

Jethro42
January 8th 2011


13115 Comments


In French it's more like Gzeno-fan
Good review Gzeno.
from a fan.

pizzamachine
January 8th 2011


12633 Comments


Great review you. I like the album cover.

Josh D.
January 9th 2011


13977 Comments


I think I heard these guys on YouTube not too long ago, but don't remember it.

DoubtGin
January 9th 2011


6773 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pretty cool

Thanntos
January 20th 2011


329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The more I listen to this, the more it DOESN'T sound like EITS at all...



(268 plays in the past 3 days O_O) Really diggin this.

BigTuna
January 31st 2011


5168 Comments


they're on the same record label as Olafur Arnalds which means I should check them out

Jovis
October 3rd 2011


16 Comments


I heard the closing track in a record store last week, and off the basis of that alone I'm actually considering getting this, despite this review pretty much confirming my previous reservations.

And the band and album names are just terrible.



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