Perhaps We Should Have Smoked the Salmon First
After the monotony and lack of direction on Explosions in the Sky’s latest LP this disc is just what’s needed to re-affirm post-rock’s vitality. Belgium’s Toman’s musicality threads through a number of the genre’s touchstones — elliptical guitar riffs, off-kilter time signatures, etc. — but the band has more in common with Spain’s Migala than they do with the more bombastic or jazz-influenced American set. By placing more emphasis on melodies and dynamics, and less on experimental and aggressive sounds, they accomplish more innovation with their modesty. The band works predominantly with two methods of songwriting: by building their rhythms in a slow coalescence of instruments until the collective voice created reaches a deep, resonant pitch (as on “By Then It Was Summer”) or by stringing their ideas along individually, fashioning some interesting juxtapositions in the process (the electro pulse that gives way to a clipped rhythm section and Isaac Brock-esque vocals and ending up in swirling riffery and aged audio footage in “They Storm In (No Knock)”). Taken together, the styles ensure there’s hardly a dull moment on a nearly universally pleasant and accessible album.
Graveface Records: www.graveface.com