Review Summary: The summer that wasn't
For a while now, it's felt like life has been on hold. Not a clean, controlled, predictable sort of hold, mind you; more of a jagged, stuttering, vhs-tape kind of pause, exuding static and unsettling fragility. Don't get me wrong: I'm all up for a breather, for things to slow down just a tad. But this isn't a pause that feels, strictly speaking, good
. Unnerving, hazy and obtuse: Rites of Summer
is that uncomfortable
feeling, intentional or otherwise.
Math rock (but not quite) and post rock (but not really) oddballs Giraffes? Giraffes!
have dropped by to say 'hi' with a nifty 15 min EP, warping the bright and joyful tropes of acts like Enemies
and Clever Girl
into abstraction in a dizzying, colourful abyss. The winding, linear track feels as if it used to be warm and reassuring, yet, having been torn apart and stitched back together over and over again, has instead become something entirely other
. Lethargic, elusive guitar leads bubble and effervesce throughout its runtime, gelatinous and/or fractal, anchoring the tie-dye-esque slop in place, but not really. As they plod, stumble and convulse around one another - sometimes uninhibited, sometimes drenched in fuzz, always noodly - it's difficult to know where one is, has been or is going, with tempos shifting abruptly, urgent pinks blending into lackadaisical greens. Drunk and lurching, the rhythm section adds very little by way of structure to the resultant trip, instead contributing to and building upon the air of amorphous restlessness. It feels ... well ... odd
: major, but minor; happy, yet sad; refracted light through a cracked, stained glass window: a triumphant failure; a celebratory disaster; a ship without a rudder. The summer that never was.
And then, without warning, it just stops; unfinished, incomplete. Why? Because it isn't over ye-