Not to Reason Why
The Book of Hours



by minty901 USER (11 Reviews)
September 9th, 2011 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Explosions in the Sky with piano and strings -- what's not to like?

Good Morning.

Not to Reason Why is a little-known California four-piece that plays instrumental post-rock music in the vein of Explosions in the Sky. Sweeping, reverberated guitar lines swell and build to explosive bursts of catharsis. We’ve all heard this before, and no, Not to Reason Why are not something “unique and fresh set to breathe life into the dying genre that is post-rock”, but they are damn good at what they do. The Book of Hours spans three songs that are reminiscent of The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place in terms of their structure; melodies build and crash and weave and change dynamically throughout the course of each song.

OK, so Not to Reason Why are not entirely derivative (despite their 4-worded band name) -- they throw string arrangements and joyous piano ditties into the mix (Explosions in the Sky meets Yndi Halda then"), and the result is nothing short of exceptional. In fact, the piano is always at the forefront, standing as the lead instrument driving each song forward -- a rarity among the genre. This serves well to maintain the band’s melodic sound even during the most climactic moments, injecting tunefulness beyond your typical “wall of sound”. The EP makes a point of this right out of the gate with its opening track, entitled "Good Morning". The song begins with a low-key chord progression and simple piano melody that might make you think you’re listening to a latter-day Mogwai track. Not to Reason Why waste no time in purging those thoughts, however, as fifty-five seconds in, the song explodes with a burst of guitar and drums, thrusting life and energy into the song before it has a chance to become tedious. This school of thought is carried throughout the entire EP; no time is ever wasted in building upon the same motif for minutes on end. The Book of Hours spans three tracks and thirty minutes, and although there’s not much in the way of variety in terms of the styles that the band chooses to explore, there’s never a dull moment.

By the third and final track you might wonder if there’s anything more in store beyond what you’ve already heard, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that. However, at five and a half minutes into "Good Night" you’re treated with some lush group-vocals, featuring both male and female voices. At this point in the EP I was struck with the thought “oh, now it sounds like Ef”, except it’s better... much better. The vocals blend perfectly with the music, and they continue for what is a large proportion of the EP’s remaining minutes, with absolutely no sacrifice to the quality of its instrumental components.

The Book of Hours may be derivative of its many influences, and if you’re tired of this style of music by now then it would be no surprise if my review has failed to convince you that this EP is worth 30 minutes of your attention, but it is worth it.

Good Night.

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user ratings (5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 8th 2011


I've never written a review before so forgive me if it's terrible. I more wrote this review to make people aware of the band, since they weren't even on the Sputnik database. Not sure if I mean to start getting into writing reviews or not, but constructive criticism would be good just in case i do. Cheers.

September 9th 2011


Well, you made me want to check them out. So you're successful haha

September 9th 2011


Cool, let me know what you think.

September 9th 2011


great review for a first, pos

September 10th 2011


Album Rating: 5.0

I loved this. So much better than EitS.

September 17th 2011


Thanks for the positive feedback. I might write more reviews for other albums not already reviewed on this site at some point. @saris340 While I wouldn't agree that they're better than EitS, they're certainly close.

September 18th 2011


Album Rating: 5.0

I listened to one of their other albums the other day, and I wasn't as impressed. This one just seemed to grab me though.

September 19th 2011


I bought Would You Hug Fire? after hearing The Book of Hours the other day, but I haven't listened to it yet.

September 21st 2011


album is still great but after the initial excitement that theres FINALLY a band who can pull off the eits sound almost as good as eits wears off... it doesnt have too much left to offer.

October 23rd 2011


double post. ignore.

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