*shels
Plains Of The Purple Buffalo


4.5
superb

Review

by Ty USER (11 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2011 | 286 replies | 38,727 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fresh air.

Post-rock has become increasingly stale. Certainly, there remain various quality bands within the genre. Despite this, there are quite a few post-rock acts that rely on the exact some formula throughout each and every one of their songs. Starting extremely strong, the genre began with the likes of Talk Talk, Slint, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. As the years progressed, however, post-rock bands began to fall into a rut, they seemed to have found the perfect formula. It would start quiet, begin a long crescendo, explode, then fall back into quiet. Though this proved to make a brilliant few songs, the formula soon became over used, and many bands fell into mediocrity.

Fortunately for the genre, there are quite a few adventurous bands that capitalize upon the instrumentation of post-rock and use it in absolutely unique ways. *Shels is one of these bands. Starting from the ruins of two other bands, *Shels kicked off their career with the fantastic Sea Of The Dying Dhow. Utilizing various post-rock song structures, the band combined them with a progressive spin, which proved to produce an original and impressive sound. This allowed for their debut LP to garner a great deal of praise. Well, *Shels are back for more, and they certainly do not disappoint.

Improving upon its predecessor in virtually every way, Plains Of The Purple Buffalo uses more of what made their debut so fantastic, creating a very solid release. *Shels opts for rather vast song compositions upon this album, creating an almost dreamlike air and sprawling instrumental sections. Despite this, strong instrumentation, such as commanding guitars and pulsing drum beats, keep the release grounded enough so that it does not feel too far off for a listener to easily grasp. Brass sections are tastefully placed, usually in the more ambient, or quiet, portions of each song. This usage of brass instruments is extremely refreshing, providing a rather unique feel to quite a few songs. Consisting of a large variety of instrumental arrangement, Plains Of The Purple Buffalo does not allow a single moment to feel incomplete.

The vocals are the most notable part of this album, however. They are so pleasant, creating such beautiful melodies; excellent in pitch and execution each and every time. Vocals are not over used on this album, however. They often join in with the instruments for rather brief moments, usually consisting of only vocal sounds and not lyrics. Lyrics are not entirely absent upon this release, though. Quite a few tracks contain beautifully simple, yet moving, lyrics. Used very expertly, the singing only adds to each song, never drowning out the instruments and never being overtaken by the guitars, drums, bass, or brass sections.

Plains Of The Purple Buffalo is quite simply a breath of fresh air. It is so refreshingly upbeat and pleasing to listen to. While never being overwhelming or too much for the listener, not a dull moment can be found within this album. *Shels certainly knew what they were doing, and they did it well upon this release. Everything falls into order, and the whole LP flows seamlessly



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user ratings (277)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
DistantEchoes (5)
A mind-altering musical journey over the prairie...


Comments:Add a Comment 
North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I just realized the past three albums I've reviewed have been 5's in my book. Odd.
Oh well, hopefully this review turned out well. This thing is such a massive album, I found it hard to describe at times... Seriously, check it out. This is certainly the album of the year so far, in my opinion.

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

acorncheese
July 3rd 2011


7119 Comments


WHoa a review! I still haven't conjured up the money to order the vinyl yet... I'm thinking I'll wait for a physical copy to listen to it. So excited.

acorncheese
July 3rd 2011


7119 Comments


Kind of wish I didn't just read this review tho! Don't want to go with sky high expectations.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2011


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sputnik, how ive missed your post rock reviews

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2011


23816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

woah a review for this already. I just got this, the two songs I heard in turntable sounded awesome. Not lugubrious at all.

i will listen to this tonight (and then will read the review)

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2011


7026 Comments


no hyperbole in this review at all

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2011


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

not because the writings bad, but people should not read this review. nothing can live up to what youve said here, it just taints expectations

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome, sounds like a plan. Yeah, I honestly think it's best to go into this thing prior to reading the review, or at least go in skeptical like I did.
I just wanted to write the review so that people would start listening to this, I can't get enough of it.

conradtao
Emeritus
July 3rd 2011


2090 Comments


What a lugubrious review

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"What a lugubrious review"

That's the way I like to write... For whatever reason.

acorncheese
July 3rd 2011


7119 Comments


lol copies of the album have just begun arriving to those who've ordered them. people will listen, it'll just take more than a few days.

fsharptrit0ne
July 3rd 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album is monumental

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"lol copies of the album have just begun arriving to those who've ordered them. people will listen, it'll just take more than a few days."

I'm excited to get the physical copy of this thing... I've just been streaming it so far.

"Album is monumental"

It certainly is.

fsharptrit0ne
July 3rd 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pissed my copy hasnt came in the mail.

Those brass sections are soo uplifting

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is just my favorite all around album of the year... If my review doesn't already say that lol, I feel like I kind of exalted the thing.

And totally man. I'm so excited for it. I don't know if it's ever going to leave my CD player. I wish I could've ordered the vinyl, though, but I lack a record player.

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Meh first neg I've gotten out of the 22 or so reviews I've written. Kind of a bummer, but I can deal with it lol.

fsharptrit0ne
July 3rd 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's hard to listen to Dhow after this one tbh

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It honestly is. I tried listening to Water today, just didn't feel nearly as incredible anymore. This just outdoes it.

I love the vocals on here too, they're in such a great pitch all the time.

fsharptrit0ne
July 3rd 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yea all the melodies on this resonant with me so well

North0House2
July 3rd 2011


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Same here. They're just so pleasant.



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