yesterday you got to know [the] slowest runner [in all the world], and their 2009 début. and let me just put it like it is, straight away, if you liked the flophouse sessions, you will *love* we, burning giraffes. if their début was gorgeous, this is ravishing. while the début lingered, as if at the edge of a cliff, and explored its reactions and feelings, this record *jumps*. don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of atmospheric and absolutely beautiful lingering. but instead of merely creating a mood and exploring it, every now and then giving away to the occasional venting spark, their newest endeavour goes off like fireworks. and it does this frequently and successfully. it does so splendidly. consequently making slowest runner one of the best ambient rock bands. consequently making slowest runner that one band that has a one hour album, with three of the songs well over ten minutes long, where no songs are so daunting that you end up listening to that one good track instead. slowest runner has made a thoroughly interesting album. a consistent effort that is perhaps best compared to Yndi Halda at their finest – or a more vivid and poignant Godspeed You! Black Emperor. while applying monumentally opposing amounts of pressure, there’s always a balance to this record, as well as a sense that everything fits. there’s sort of a sense of predictability in action. but it does not make it boring or bad. because you grow fond of this music, and knowing where it goes makes you feel like you know it. you want it to carry you away. and it does this frequently and successfully. it does so splendidly.
archive for July, 2011
as you may be aware of, I’m not the biggest fan of the “post rock” tag. it doesn’t make sense to me. interpreting “rock” as a verb, “to excel” or as “to shake your body”, makes “post rock” “to suck” or “to stand still”. or are we talking about shaking a pole? because “post” as in Latin for “taking place afterwards” certainly doesn’t make sense to me, because rock isn’t done yet. so the very phrase by itself makes no sense to me. couple it with the common descriptions, and I’m even more lost. I’m told “post rock” is supposedly “bands with rock instruments that do not play rock”. what is a rock instrument? and why are all the most popular “post rock” bands (Sigur Rós, Explosions in the Sky, etc) rock bands? why are random emo bands like Slint and Moss Icon post-rock? argh! but seeing as this is a music blog, not a rant blog, I’m going to move on from my inability to understand the phrase or trend that is “post rock” now. so here is a band that is commonly referred to as a post rock (ugh) band. they have that long weird name, long progressive and instrumental rock songs that is apparently “typical” for post rock, despite that bands such as Sigur Rós do not have a long name and aren’t instrument… sorry. where was I? oh yes. [the] slowest runner [in all the world] isn’t one of those formulaic crescendo bands. (not that there’s anything wrong with those bands!) they are instead one of those who search for a mood, find it, and linger there, until they’ve explored all it has to offer. the tools of their trade are strings, piano, guitars, drums, extremely sparse and seldom vocal harmonies and occasional electronic noises. this was all recorded live in a living room, which is something I appreciate. “live recordings” is one of my favourite oxymoron, because it gives the whole thing an organic and warm sound, and often leaves room for the occasional spark. the only complaint I have about this album is that the piano at the beginning of “This Is Water” sounds annoyingly much like the first track on Sigur Rós’s (), and, if I’m completely honest, this isn’t () by a mile, so it just irks me that I pick that up. I am looking forward to this band in the future, because this, while no (), is absolutely gorgeous. it’s just a beautifully accomplished record. it catches my attention with its graceful beauty and warm energy. so do yourself a favour and check this band out, because they are truly promising to the n-th degree.
earlier this month I was lucky enough to be at Quiritatio’s reunion. it was a glorious affair! a simply put fantastic gig. at which I was also able to obtain one of the represses of the Yana 7″. if you don’t know about this, it’s an old release, from 2006, long since sold out, and later repressed. so to coincide with their reunion, here’s an MP3 copy of Yana! if you know Quiritatio, you know this is amazing. if you don’t know Quiritatio, *get* to know them right here and now. the lyrics tell the story of Yana, and the music tells the story of Yana and Quiritatio both.
it was only yesterday you got your last e! e! fix, but you are dying for some more, right? well, here’s today. here’s more. here’s more melancholic twinkling; here’s more depressingly yelped lyrics; here’s more e! e! and it’s a little different from their previous output. it’s still meticulous word choices delivered by closed lips, as pointed out in the first track. it’s still brooding and depressing in every which way. but it’s more poignant. there are fewer instrumental parts. there are no four-six minute sadness exhibitions. but it still has that brooding quality. it still sounds like crying in slow motion; it still sounds like e! e! nostalgic and melancholic music as well as lyrics that read like intricate short stories with dense symbolism. the lyrics seemingly have no real message or plot or motive. instead, they document memorable occasions or feelings. «the end of this trip birthed us with uncertainty of what to do next» perfectly summarizes the effect the lyrics have. each song is a trip, and each song leaves you with uncertainty. but know this for certain – you need to download this as soon as possible.
it’s been a busy summer. and I’m supposed to be refreshing a deep and secret corner of my mind – the one that deals with matrices and trigonometry. but instead I’m updating that’s punk for once. it needs this update. come August, I’ll hopefully have way more time to post here, so I can shorten that damned queue. anyway… this is a new Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) song. new as in new to this blog and maybe to you, but not as in newly released. if you know e! e! you’ve already pressed the download button and don’t give a shit about my opinion about this track. if you haven’t heard e! e! before, you should probably consider hitting that download button straight away, because this is golden. e! e! are at heart an unashamed Mineral worship band. but a body needs more than a heart to function, so there’s plenty of other organs dedicated to make e! e! an interesting band in their own right. albeit an interesting band highly comparable to Mineral. is that such a bad thing? shamelessly ripping off Mineral is a good thing in my book. because that means brooding compositions with lots of feedback, pretty and imaginative guitar twinkling, off-key emotive vocals, creative drumming and bass lines that are increasingly rewarding to devote attention to, and melancholic and cleverly brooding and delivered lyrics. there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be like Mineral if you are a good band, and e! e! are a *really* good band. this song will wash over you again and again.