Piano
Salvage Architecture


4.0
excellent

Review

by Claire Q. CONTRIBUTOR (56 Reviews)
May 31st, 2017 | 10 replies


Release Date: 09/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forte is the word.

With Dan Tompkins as the principle vocalist behind Piano, one can take it for granted that there will be a reliably strong vocal performance. After all, the well-known Tesseract frontman has proven his mettle with his output from multiple projects, including Skyharbor and White Moth Black Butterfly. Indeed, that solidity can be said to extend to the entirety of Salvage Architecture, with its slightly unorthodox amalgamation of sentimental punch and pop sensibilities.

Solidity, in a more literal sense, is applied to the production of Salvage Architecture. It is the first thing that pops out, the forcefulness of the instruments creating a towering wall of sound. Thick, fuzzy guitars cement together alongside the drumming, which eschews finesse in favour of brute strength. Despite the coalescing chaos, Dan’s voice somehow manages to find a position in the forefront, backed up by the harmonization of other singers in the band. I get the sense that these sonic decisions were intended to convey emotional fervour, though the consistently overpowering production may become monotonous at times. Fortunately the songwriting itself evades such issues.

Salvage Architecture is paradoxically simple in terms of its construction. It is dependent on fairly regular rhythms, and few components are truly unpredictable or disjointed. Vocal melodies take measured steps, rather than fly across the notes. With “Expire”, it strikes hard from the get-go and maintains constant volume until the respite of “Neptune”. “Neptune” foregoes the rhythm section altogether, preferring instead the accompaniment of a piano and Dan’s falsetto. Fear not - delicate threads are weaved into even the “harder” songs, a prime example being the surprisingly dainty guitar motif of “Disappearing Ink”. “Nostalgia is a Weapon” also has its own soft, shimmering passage. Elsewhere, “Scalene” and “Dust to Dust” ground themselves, taking advantage of slower tempos whilst not being one of the subdued tracks. “Ruin Ethics” and “Forensic”, arguably the most standardly formatted pieces of Salvage Architecture, both feature a lively guitar solo that spruces up their structural variation.

Special mention is reserved for the closing track, “In Memoriam”. Sombre, haunting, its drawn-out chants and shiver-inducing whispers are a victorious demonstration of versatility.

The whole of Salvage Architecture is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. It never bogs itself down with unnecessary complications or surprises, following instead a minimalistic mantra and expressing itself with easily digestible lines. Accessibility is no curse here - it is in fact one of the pillars of the record, and a factor in making its 51-minute runtime seem shorter than it really is. So long as the production does not fatigue too much, Salvage Architecture will get the job done well as an album that aims straight for your heart.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
d00derz (5)
Salvage Architecture is an astonishing debut album 6 years in the making....


Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2017


9441 Comments


you're on a hot streak! posssss, great writing.. will check album..

Digging: A.R. and Machines - Die Grune Reise

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2017


2364 Comments


agreed with butcher, on all fronts.. love ya work claire

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2017


835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks so much! love y'all and your writing too.

jalexander311
May 31st 2017


24 Comments


Very agreed. Wonderful and underrated album.

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2017


2759 Comments


Great review as usual. One thing that'd be neat from you is a bit more analysis following descriptions, as well as a little more personality flowing through; sometimes the language you use feels a bit too rigid and expected. Other times, of course, your personality shines through beautifully, and I love, for instance, the link between your first and second paragraphs. I can be more specific if you'd like, but take that as you may, because your writing is otherwise excellent. Pos'd! ((:

Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Suffer On

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2017


835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you for the feedback! I'm always looking to improve

zaruyache
May 31st 2017


20380 Comments


real talk how much piano actually on this record tho

Digging: Forest - Like a Blaze Above the Ashes

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2017


835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not very much piano, but it's there

zaruyache
May 31st 2017


20380 Comments


ahh man

bloc
September 10th 2018


54409 Comments


Band name is dumb shit, but this album turned out to be really good

Digging: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike



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