Review Summary: An impressive debut, but not without its flaws.
There is a hypnotic effect that exudes from the music of Temporary Room
. Each song ornaments itself with a dissonant wall of sound, and though Stagnant Pools favour a profound thickness in their guitar sound, their music still radiates a melodic atmosphere. The album opens with "Illusions"
, and it pretty much summarizes the musical approach of the entire album. Repetitive drum beats, guitar arrangements that are drenched in harmonic dissonance, and these two instrumental components coincide together to reflect a dolorous ambience for Bryan Enas' dreary and monotonous voice. Emanating a similar melancholic tone to that of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. And that's practically all this album has to offer.
Temporary Room relies on instrumental repetition in each song to develop a sense of musical hypnotism during the listening experience, and it certainly succeeds in doing so. "Solitude"
surround us in a fog of droning soundscapes, with a sensual melody existing underneath all the layers of discordant guitars. The music even manages to exude an almost alleviating dream-like environment in its own chaotic way. But every song tends to follow this exact same formula over and over again, and the album loses its trancing effect and just becomes laborious to listen to. It's almost difficult to distinguish one song from another in this album because they are all orchestrated with an identical structure and aesthetic. Each individual composition is driven by an insistance on harmonic minimalism, displaying hardly any structural alterations within their sound. There are moments, like in "Frozen"
, when the rhythmic pace alternates and the music evolves from mellow to aggressive, but most of the time each song tends to follow a singular melodic sequence throughout its entirety. Bryan Enas doesn't even try to refine his singing style with any sort of variation, relying solely in a monotonous tone that seems incapable of expressing any kind of emotion but apathy, no matter what topic his lyrics discuss.
Stagnant Pools' Temporary Room certainly has its share of deficiencies, but it does prove to be one entertaining effort. Each song has its own enticing allure if listened to individually, but flowing through the album in one sitting will inevitably make all of the songs sound identical and make the listening experience too arduous for one's enthusiasm. Every debut has its flaws, and as a musician all you can really do is learn from these faults and renovate your sound for a more compelling sequel. Stagnant Pools' attempt at an atmospheric noise-rock sound certainly has a lot of promise, but as of right now, the reiterating nature of their style keeps the album from being more accesible.