Review Summary: The tourist traps are nice but the real journey is off the beaten path.
One of the best things about music is how it can drive you to far and foreign lands. In The Aeroaplane Over The Sea brought us to an insane world where the mountaintops are stained with semen and little girls play pianos filled with flames. Macha on the other hand walks us through the ancient streets of an Asian market with all of its curious strangers, actors and dark alleyways to boot. Although present, without taking vocals into consideration: the lush sound of the instrumentation alone can conjure beautiful images of sprawling markets, cherry trees and bewildering mysticism.
It is hard to pin-point exactly how to tag an album such as this, there are rippling anthemic drums, timid yet powerful electric guitar rhythms and more strange both local and foreign instruments than one could shake a stick at. It is better to think of this album as a collage of both the massive, get busy sound of rock music, the vastness of psychedelic as well as the breath and culture of a foreign land. This album is a journey and no two songs will sound the same, the band consistently introduces new ideas such as harsh electric guitars and squealing in ‘Until Your Temples Are Pounding’ or the glistening wind chimes found in ‘Between Stranded Sonars’. The production on this album is excellent and it lets all of the odd rhythms, strange sounds and unique spaces come out in a very natural and progressive manner.
Each song feels like a different view of Asia. This album strays off the path and aims to see more than just the Temple of Heaven and with the overarching theme of journey and wonder of course come different environments, moods and soundscapes to accompany the trip. The suffocating and seductive atmosphere of ‘The Nippelgong’ feels like a stroll through the night while ‘Mirror’ is dark, contemplative and impatient. Although so diverse the album still consistently maintains strong to its progressive nature and overarching themes. That feel of excitement and journey is consistent regardless of the place that the album seems to find itself and that is what makes it so gripping.
The progression throughout is subtle, but don’t be fooled, this album is massive. Macha isn’t just showing you Asia, they are just as excited and curious as the listener and throughout there is a constant engagement 'of what site will be seen next?' That along with the excellent, joyful drum work makes See It Another Way invigorating.