Review Summary: A new paradigm for post-rock or just post-rock for the ADD generation?
Since its beginning, the focus in post-rock’s has been on the crescendo and climax of a song. Whether it’s a gradual build up or a sudden explosion of sound, it’s this eventual release of noise and emotion, as well as the wait for it, that are the genre’s main feature. All too often, bands focus too much upon the release, neglecting the equally important wait. Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
avoid this mistake. The band’s style of glitchy jazz-infused post-rock builds and releases suspense from moment to moment, while always building towards the song’s climax. As high as the album’s crescendos rise, each of the quiet periods is just as enthralling and this is one of the band’s defining features.
The album is mainly piano driven, Ron Pollard’s virtuosic playing underlined by some of the most unorthodox and jazz-style drumming in the genre. The guitar and bass generally remain in support to this sound, emerging several times to great effect (see the initially guitar-driven Deep Rivers Run Quiet
). Synthesizer is also used to add atmosphere, depth and glitchy electronics to the sound of the band. All of this merges into a multilayered river of sound that rewards the listener every second spent listening and yet maintains a seamless flow that builds throughout the album to the crushing closer of They Found My Skull in the Nest of a Bird
The band’s technicality is as sharp as their previous efforts and as strong as any of their peers. Yet unlike their Tiny Fragments EP, the exploration of their ability and different genres is not the focus. The schizophrenic, chaotic style that had been forefront in the past has been toned down and given more of a purpose. Indeed, it is the theme that runs throughout the album that makes this album so distinctive. Each person may interpret it differently but to me, the album perfectly captures the feel of the Australian desert (the album artwork is an influence too). The flowing sound conjures the harsh beauty of that empty land, where the force of nature far outstrips anything made by man.
Although Deaden the Fields
is a debut album, TToL have already established a truly unique sound for themselves and are poised to make a much-needed assault on the genre’s international scene.