Live albums just sound better. A live recording captures the essence and spirit of a band. Studio recordings sterilize and tone down band’s natural sound leaving a disappointing aftertaste like watered down coffee.
Pelican is instrumental post rock from Chicago and a great example of this phenomenon. Nighttime Stories is mediocre studio offering where as Live at the Grog Shop is stellar by any reckoning. Below are both albums and please comment if you agree or disagree. Enjoy.
Happy Halloween, the day when adults feels it is acceptable to dress up… Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t get it. Anyway, for today we have Late Night Venture, which is indie/ post rock from Denmark. They first came to my attention when Dr Space mentioned them playing at the Kildemose Festival; good, very listenable, but uninspired and lacking somewhat in having a distict sound of their own. Wandering all around the indie genre, sometimes venturing closer to a classic rock sound, and then more of a psychedelic feel, then distorted guitars being reminiscent of shoegaze. Kind of all over the place, and while the music is good, I’m not really digging it, 80%.
Pelican’s latest album is good, very good actually, but one hears a lot of the classic Pelican riffs, and I was somewhat disappointed not to hear more original sounds. Whatevesies, its still a good release, 87%.
Today we have Vestiges, a D.C. based blackened post hardcore band… this is more a result of the Washington DC music scene than anything. Good, but nothing spectacular, bouncing from sounding blackened to hardcore-ish and then ambient, it is all over the place 72%.
Post-rock is like pizza. It’s normally pretty good and different everywhere you go. Mono is the Japanese parallel to Pelican, instrumental and brooding, their latest release The Last Dawn is magnificent, easily the best post-rock album of last year. I would say more, dissect the album by song and by sound. But, my mind is cloudy, muddled by the excellent mango, so all I can manage to say, is check it out. It’s an instrumental masterpiece that suits the Monday morning session quite nicely.
Second post of the new year! Yes, I know, off to a slow start, but whatevesies, I’ve been busy with work and what not. It’s easy to lose track of time here in Florida, it’s warm and sunny, humid, there’s even been some waves recently. Needless to say, things move at a different pace here.
Southern State is stoner post-rock trio from Columbus, Ohio. Pretty good overall, sitting somewhere between J Mascis, Sleep and Chicago post rock. They’re tagged shoegaze and emo also, but not really.
The first song on this release starts out with a deep, catchy riff. Then the vocals start and kind of sour the track, they just don’t seem to fit. The second, third and fourth tracks are good, fitting together quite well and the release ends a bit too soon leaving the listener wanting more; 81%. Any thoughts about this release? Please comment.
Astralia is a band from Barcelona playing tremendous post rock. Remember how mind blowing Pelican sounded the first time? That heavy, brooding, instrumental post rock that pulls the listener into the music? Astralia fits into that realm also with an intense and gripping sound that is the hallmark of true post rock. SpaceC refers to this as “thinking mans music”, which is funny coming from the guy who has already lost two smart phones this year. Either way, Atlas is Astralia’s sophomore album is deep and epic, 88%.
God is an Astronaut, Irish post rock, tagged space rock also, but I’m not hearing it. This is their latest album and probably my favorite that I’ve heard… excellent background music, and yet another should hear band, 80%.
I arrived an hour and a half after the show was supposed to start, and low and behold, just a fucking drum set on stage! What is with Florida shows and starting late? Will’s is pretty crowded tonight and the Virginia band that’s playing is busy slurping down the band beer, God, Miller beer sucks, poor guys. The crowd tonight doesn’t smell too bad and is the group one would expect for a post rock show; beards, glasses and lizardly looking women. I swear some of these bimbos put on their make-up with paintball guns.
Evidently… Evidently, I drank a lot of beer and my thoughts are somewhat muddled this morning, so I’ll wade into a cup of coffee and the rest of the review.
As I was saying, evidently Inter Arma didn’t agree with my assessment that the crowd didn’t stink too much because they lit a couple dozen sticks of incense stuck in a block of styrofoam before going on stage, which I guess was a discreet way of expressing their opinion of the venue. Anyway, they play a really good show. The vocalist is probably the strongest I’ve heard in person, when the microphone was plugged in, that is. Whoever was in charge of the sound system must have been drinking or had Down’s syndrome because besides for losing the vocals the sound clearly wasn’t right. One guitar was coming through too loud and the bass was way too low, but it was still a good set.
The next band was ok, but the sound was even more screwed so I retained my place at the bar sipping a “Belgium farm ale”, which was less than stellar. It occurred to me half way through that there was a reason I’d never heard of that beer before, so I reverted back to literally pissing my money away on Hopsecutioner.
Finally Russian Circles came on. And the sound was fucked. Besides for that it seemed that the band really wasn’t feeling it that night, so I left a little disappointed but with a new found respect for Inter Arma. All and all a pretty good show.