Review Summary: If the shoegaze fits, wear it
Kairon IRSE! returned in 2014 with their sophomore effort which rocked the boat in both the post rock and shoegaze worlds. 'Ujubasajuba' integrates the band's previous dabbling into shoegaze fully to create a post-rock sound almost definitive to them alone, and it is this which has helped Kairon IRSE! to create an album which stands out from the crowd.
Although 'Ujubasajuba' throws you in the deep end with the relentlessly heavy 'Valorians', most songs tend to share similar structures which shifts between gentle psychedelica and heavy instrumental or, in the case of 'Amsterdam', vocal onslaughts. Kairon IRSE! invoke chaos as much as they create order in the heavier elements of the album, where a seemingly thrashing performance reveals itself to be quite restrained and controlled - the explosive end of 'Rulons', where the frantic melts into the serene seamlessly, is an excellent example which shows this. The lighter shoegaze parts of 'Ujubasajuba' tend to have meandering guitars and synthesizer melodies panned in each ear, creating an ethereal atmosphere to counter the heavy and imposing post rock each song develops into; 'Swarm' displays a grand crescendo through unrelenting snare drum rolls and crushing bass drums to create a maddening sense of anticipation. But regardless of which genre camp the moment belongs to, the music is so lushly and consistently layered that not a second is spent out of interest for the listener.
Throughout the album, each instrument provides a complimenting support for the rest of the band with an air of modesty, yet little variations as the songs progress make all parts fascinating to focus on individually. The guitars and bass play around similar motifs throughout each song yet differences and progressions in sound and tone creates a distinction for each instrument and shows just how meticulous their writing is; it is perhaps shown best as the album draws to a close in the dynamic finale of 'Les, Moh y Gribi'. Melodic trade offs between guitars, synthesizers and vocals throughout strengthen the psychedelic aspects of the album to the point where they almost merge together; and it is these nonthreatening vocals that range from whispers to soaring highs which hit the ear like a soothing nectar.
Many post rock bands suffer the blight of unmemorable melodies and sterility, but these qualities are anything but applicable to Kairon IRSE! - the album showcases incredibly engaging elements from both shoegaze and post rock, and the highly energetic execution of this fusion is what makes Ujubasajuba one of the strongest albums of the two genres from 2014.