Review Summary: Red Sparowes bring something new and something old on a little date with a the town whore who I like to call "post-rock".
With lumbering guitar tones, and drums that pulsate like those ripples in Jurassic Park, Red Sparowes are certainly not on the softer side of the post-rock spectrum. "Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Sun", is Red Sparowes' second LP and their best work yet, beautifully capturing their unique spin on the genre of post-rock. Of course, I have to mention this band has members of Isis and Neurosis just for the fact that it's just essential to understanding why this band is so good at what it does. Apparently "Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Sun" is some kind of conceptual album illustrating a tale of ill-advised plans that occurred in communist China, but really this has no impact on whether you enjoy or do not enjoy the record. Red Sparowes once again deliver their metal-tinged post-rock sound just as well as they have been doing for the best couple of years.
"Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Sun" is full of post-rock clichés; ridiculously long titles, typical reverby guitars that build up into gorgeously layered crescendos, and a relatively simple yet pounding rhythm section. What perhaps makes Red Sparowes stick out in the post-rock genre is their association with metal, and their modal composition methods. Composing their pieces in a modal fashion really gives Red Sparowes a more freeier sound than most post-rock bands. I could even imagine in the future, Red Sparowes' shows involving very "free" jams, much like a jazz band. To think of this album as individual songs is foolish, because it is really just one long piece of work, so picking out individual highlights is difficult. In defining the sound it's important to note the slow ambient sections that were found on "At the Soundless Dawn" have been done away with and this album is more focused on creating gorgeous soundscapes. Often solo guitar leads into heavy build ups that the rest of the members of the band, but because of the band's modal and genius playing this method doesn't ever seem to get old.
While this album is a really great example of post-rock, that in fact is also its problem. Red Sparowes are willing to add a few bells and whistles to their sound which makes it endearing, but overall they're certainly not doing anything that hasn't been done before. In my opinion, we are getting to the very end of the golden age of post-rock bands and eventually the genre will turn into a large group of artists constantly impersonating the once great founders of a new sound. Luckily Red Sparowes have so far not fallen completely into the hole of post-rock clichés and are making some highly enjoyable music.
"Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Sun" is a gorgeous record that builds upon an already sturdy base of sound. Red Sparowes have crafted one of my favorite albums of the year, and hopefully they can continue to stay out of the pit of conformity post-rock has seemed to become. Their next LP will certainly be a hard thing to keep enjoyable, but I for one have faith.