Review Summary: One more forgivable attempt among the hundreds
Now that we have all learned to live inside the post-ness of our age and we can easily bury the tradition as a misguided attempt to ground aesthetics upon ghost terms and empty concepts, we are ready to accept our new crumbled perception as a new homeground. Post rock has become a staple for the new millennium kid who strives to find some authentic expression in popular music, and maybe that's why we are swallowing tons of boasting reviews of how “sublime” and “transcendental” the latest X
post-anything album is. If These Trees Could Talk seem to be the perfect example of such a highly consumed product among underground elitists and late-teens metalheads, showing the signs of a mild and forgivable weariness.
But let me make myself clear: the Ohio 5-piece band is a good one. Red Forest
is an enjoyable listen and will manifest even better in live shows- for this I'm sure. On their second LP, we find If These Trees could Talk more mature than ever, crafting an album of elegant density. But it seems that this is also a problem on its own.
For listeners familiar with the refined abrasiveness of Russian Circles or the hazy climaxing of God is an Astronaut, Red Forest
will come as no surprise, but as a rather affirmative gesture of understanding. The album is a revolving trip amidst somber melodies and blatant reverberations, with generous hints of evocative outcries. Tight drumming accompanies the fluent guitarists' dialogue which flows and ebbs quite frequently, and a couple of soaring guitar lines complete the picture and raise the instrumental rockers to the status of “honest post-rock”: good, adventurous music with limitations. To anyone following the accomplishments of Explosions in the Sky, God is an Astronaut and other cornerstones of the genre, Red Forest will difficultly be anything more than a two-listen sip of a “consistent and well-played” instrumental rock. “They Speak With Knives” and the closing “When The Big Hand Buries The Twelve” stand as the record's greater moments, the first with a memorable guitar fluency and the latter with a heavy riffing climaxing which serves as an ideal closure.
Still, Red Forest
suffers from the prosaic approach the whole genre suffers from these days. Floating between post-rock and post-metal territories, they accomplish nothing but a quite dull repetition of stretched out compositions which lack the most important features that once constituted such genres as fresh and powerful: the subtle, wide-ranged dynamics, the use of silence as an important ally, the economy of structure, and the loquacious climaxing of simple themes. However, the demand of a self conscious rock music is long gone and we're left to wonder whether all these fans literally listen to all these second grade post-y acts or just acknowledge them as something serious and return to the good old Godspeed and stuff. It seems that post rock delves back to its unconscious, carrying a burden of remnants of sublimity, facing the fact that it should abolish its name in order to create something new. And it's cruel to think that such a strife would leave bands like If These Trees could Talk be buried under the time's quick flow.