Review Summary: Even I, from time to time, will believe anything.
Eclecticism is truly something to be valued in music. It makes sure things don't grow stagnant, and provides a plethora of different things to be appreciated over the course of one album. In the case of Indiana's own Cloakroom, there is a significant focus on having enough variation in the music to keep listeners satisfied, all while staying true to themselves and playing what they want to play. On their sophomore LP, Further Out
, the band takes indie rock with some pop sensibilities and drapes it with droning guitars and lumbering drums to make an excellent slowcore album. Though each song sticks to the base set by this described sound, they all have a different aura to them.
On the opener, "Paperweight", there are distinct psychedelic rock influences that are nicely reminiscent of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, just with some shoegazy guitars thrown in on top of it all. "Outta Spite" and "Moon Funeral" each showcase the bands' penchant for writing dronier songs, and manage to be very fun with some nice riffs underneath the noise. The instrumental "Mesmer" makes great use of ambient noises, while both "Asymmetrical" and "Deep Sea Station" both include some electronic passages that work quite well with the combination of an acoustic guitar.
The choruses on this record are actually very catchy, and nowhere is the best exemplified than on the crown jewel of the record, "Lossed Over". The lead single from the album, it has an absolutely sublime chorus that immediately works its way into your head. The lead riff, although simple in nature is as beautiful as they come, and the soft-loud dynamics on the verses provide a wonderful swirling atmosphere. On "Starchild Skull", which is probably the most straightforward rock song on the record, the band cranks out some bluesy riffs and an excellent build-up midway through the track.
For all of its variety, the album does suffer somewhat from dragging a slight bit towards the end. "Clean Moon" and "Sylph", while not necessarily being bad tracks, just don't go anywhere during their runtime and don't add very much to the record. Also, sometimes the vocalist will get lost in the mix during the dronier parts of songs, but the songs don't suffer too much from it. Despite the aforementioned dragging, the album ends on a very strong note with the closer "Deep Sea Station", which has more psychedelic lead guitars along with the most intricate drumming on the record.
It's always very refreshing to see bands, no matter how small or unknown, make music their own way and carve their own niche in the music world. While Further Out
is eclectic and fun, it might occasionally seem like an amalgam of concepts that may have been done before. Still, it is apparent that Cloakroom wants to make their own style, even dubbing their music as "stoner emo", albeit jokingly. Surely, though, Cloakroom has it in them to make something truly unique, undoubtedly through the blueprint that has been set by this album.