The Unwinding Hours
The Unwinding Hours


4.5
superb

Review

by bodiesinflight57 USER (14 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2010 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Maybe I'm wrong" Craig B sings on this debut release. He needn't have worried.

When Scottish art rockers Aereogramme split in 2007 it was to a muted reception. The band's small army of fans were devastated of course but the band's problem had always been that it's following was just that, small. As the band themselves put it upon announcing their split they had "an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist". While bassist Campbell McNeil and drummer Martin Scott gave up the ghost completely frontman Craig B and guitarist Iain Cook weren't ready to quit. In August 2009 they announced a new project together, The Unwinding Hours.

It's now, in February 2010, that the duo release their debut record and it sets the bar for all other releases to try and match this year. From the first bars of opener 'Knut' it's clear that the project follows in the footsteps of Aereogramme's final release, the superb 'My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go'. For the most part it is more restrained than a typical Aereogramme release although the dark undercurrent running through the album frequently becomes apparent, no more so than on the excellent 'Child' in which a thudding bass line suddenly transforms the song from standard atmospheric rock to something far more powerful and threatening. There hasn't been a total forgoing of heaviness however; it's truly shocking when closer 'The Final Hour' suddenly explodes after a tranquil first couple of minutes. Overall this is an album more about the gradual building up of tension rather than sudden outbursts of aggression. For the most part, whenever a song like 'Peaceful Liquid Shell' reaches the point where you are expecting it to descend into a deafening drum and guitar barrage it actually either winds up or continues in the same peaceful, yet occasionally slightly disturbing, vein.

However dense the atmosphere on this record though it is certainly not especially complex. Cook is a master of using dense layers of relatively simple instrumentation to complement one another and to create a staggeringly impressive whole. On top of these soundscapes come Craig's typically emotive lyrics. Whether he's imploringly crying ("Give me silence") or creating somewhat bizarre and unnerving imagery ("Let it be known that I am well/trapped inside this peaceful liquid shell"), Craig's lyrical content act as the icing on the cake of the finely tuned songs that make up this debut album. Will it appeal to people who have never heard of Aereogramme? It probably will, if they like artistic rock with a melancholic tone. It's certainly not going to appeal to everyone who was a fan of the pair's former band; there isn't enough heaviness or twisting and turning for some. Similar to the likes of compatriots The Twilight Sad and the USA's Junius, this is a volume of music that is not life changing but about as good as this kind of music ever gets these days.

Always sung with maximum passion and played with maximum intensity, this is an album that would, in a fair world, place The Unwinding Hours as stars in the vast alternative rock field. The fact that, in all probability, it will not, doesn't matter. Iain Cook and Craig B have found themselves another vehicle in which to display their musical talent and to them, I dare say, that is all that matters.



Recent reviews by this author
Devil Sold His Soul Blessed & CursedThe Ocean Heliocentric
Red Sparowes The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein...Dark Tranquillity We Are the Void
Biffy Clyro Only RevolutionsPorcupine Tree The Incident
user ratings (37)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
February 22nd 2010


6131 Comments


found out about this earlier today weirdly enough, a friend linked me to knut. pretty sure im gonna like this.

YouAreMySilence
February 23rd 2010


3726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Twilight Sad you say? Looking for it now.

BigTuna
February 23rd 2010


5758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, pretty great album so far.

bodiesinflight57
February 23rd 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YAMS: It's on Spotify so if you're in a Spotify country you can hear it on that

BigTuna
February 24th 2010


5758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Child is suuuuuuuuch a good song.

InfinityLies
April 11th 2010


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My favorite of 2010 so far. Beautiful stuff.

YouAreMySilence
May 15th 2010


3726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The guy's voice kinda reminds of Mark Hollis', who happens to be my favourite vocalist of all time.

Such a fantastic record.

transatlanticfoe
September 8th 2010


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

12 votes come on sputnik

crazyblinddude
September 8th 2010


3388 Comments


I looked at the description and saw Aerogramme. Gonna have to download this now.

transatlanticfoe
September 8th 2010


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if you like the last Aereogramme album there's no way you wouldn't like this

crazyblinddude
September 8th 2010


3388 Comments


I've been meaning to re-listen to their discog, so if this is anything like them, I'm sure it'll fit in nicely. Will dl once mediafire starts working again.

transatlanticfoe
January 27th 2011


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bump

bodiesinflight57
January 27th 2011


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish they'd tour in the UK, want to see them

thumbcrusher
March 12th 2011


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

is there any sign of heavier aereogramme from the sleep and release etc days. i still think my heart... was outstanding but i like their other style too.

bodiesinflight57
March 12th 2011


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not really no

thumbcrusher
March 12th 2011


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh well, i'll still get anyway

thumbcrusher
March 29th 2011


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

after getting this, very pleased these two carried on after aereogramme



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy