What started as post rock with metal leanings is slowly morphing into an electronic-reliant outfit. Exxasens have always lived behind the big names of the genre, such as God Is An Astronaut, 65daysofstatic or even Maserati, among others. While some never bothered to discover their core, dismissing them as blatant copies, others enjoyed the mixture between the aforementioned bands with a shade of post metal a la Pelican. Of course, there was always a struggle to carve a niche and it's weird and cool at the same time how Jordi Ruiz and co. have done that through blending all the influences into a shapeshifting unit. Now, with a 4th record in hand, aptly titled Satellites, the band pushes their futuristic sound further into the space age.
Trading distorted guitars for the delay-soaked, wall of sound, Exxasens deliver a more atmospheric experience, relying on ambiance rather than power. The tracks don't burst, instead they grow smoothly and often keep a dreamy tone that goes hand in hand with the overall aspirations. The eponymous centerpiece is the best example of this progressive phase, since the first part is comprised mostly of gentle leads and subtle piano lines, gradually giving way to the extended, powerful climax. Also, 'Sputnik' and 'Arida' beautifully mix electronic beats with eerie guitars to a lovely result that feels like a marriage between Maserati and God Is An Astronaut. The infectious melodies are enough to keep all judgements regarding the sound at bay. 'The Falling' is the tune that resembles most the powerful previous efforts. Besides the darker vibe, the distortion is back and the lush synthesizers once more make for an excellent ending to this journey. The samples return too, this time narrating the re-entry and the splash down of the damaged Apollo 13 back in 1970.
So, how will Satellites stand the test of time? It's not a genre-bending record, but its light nature and honest sound makes it a nice, casual listen. Even if purists will probably dismiss it for not being original enough, some songs will remain on playlists for at least a while. Exxasens are a young band that's still evolving and this effort shows there's much potential yet to be valued. At its worst, it can easily replace God Is An Astronaut's Origins.
There wasn't much publicity around it. They've quietly released it a couple of weeks ago on the internet and yesterday in physical form. Their previous stuff was great as well, but this transition to a more electronic sound is also welcomed.
The banana yesterday that I realised was way too ripe half way through, and ended up with that nasty
mushy banana taste in your mouth for half an hour afterwards and made me not want any more bananas for
the near future was better than Origins