Review Summary: The album that became epic by trying not to be.
Sometimes music gets ahead of itself. In an increasingly saturated market, post-rock bands, just like any other artist, are trying to set themselves apart from the flock. Whether this is from incorporating hastily hashed-together political soundbites or by just trying to sound more epic
than anyone else. So it's nice to see a band who personify the concept of being understated. Take a quick look at their website and you're greeted with only 1 and a half lines about the band themselves. A premonition of laziness? You could say that, but then again if you were to say that you obviously haven't heard their recent LP, We, Burning Giraffes
Because with this LP, (The) Slowest Runner (In All The World)
have achieved what so many other artists wish they could, and they've done it in the best way possible: they've distinguished themselves by simply being better
. We, Burning Giraffes
bears no obvious political jabs, nor does it build up into a cacophony, instead it focuses on making subtle, atmospheric tracks. The only thing being conveyed here is pure, uninterupted emotion.
Now, don't go thinking that this means We, Burning Giraffes
is edging close to being boring, Slowest Runner
bring more than enough flair along with them to make the LP shine. Classical instrumentation takes centre stage for the majority of the LP's running time, the frequent use of strings creates a melancholy mood, blending softy with the hum of electric guitars so smoothly that you wonder why electric guitars haven't been implemented into conventional orchestras. The band continue their nondescript style by never reducing a song into momentary silence or indeed very close to that at all - by reducing the range of intensity, and restraining themselves, they manage to create the same effect as a fully orchestral climax, or a singular piano, but also retain a sense of cohesiveness and progression.
By refining and personalising the post-rock formula, Slowest Runner
have created something that manages to maintain a constant, pulsating force while still finding the time to be beautiful. If you have any interest in post-rock, don't neglect this.