Friday, 18 March 2011

Grails- Deep Politics

‘Deep Politics’ is the new album from Northwestern American ‘instrumental’ rock band Grails. I put the instrumental part of instrumental rock in quotation marks, as Grails are not actually fully instrumental. Their music does contain vocals, they are just not at the forefront and are used in the background to create atmosphere and to aid the sound. As well as the usual band Timba Harris of Estradasphere who handles the strings joins them on this album. As well as this it also contains a cover/reworking of a Bruno Nicolai composition entitled ‘All The Colors Of The Dark.’

I have listened to this album a few times now, in a variety of different settings such as in my bedroom with my eyes closed taking it all in as well as listening while playing some basketball. It is fair to say that this album is indeed deep if not political. It would probably take literally hundreds of listens to discover each and every little nugget involved in the music. The best way I have discovered to listen to it is to allow it to wash over you and take in as much as you can. There are beautifully serene bits, there are noodly guitar bits for fans of Metal and Prog Rock, there are also bits that appear to have been lifted from Motley Crue’s ‘Kickstart My Heart.’ To truly appreciate this album it has to be listened properly, on proper speakers not through tinny laptop ones.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Earth- Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I

Earth have come a long way since ‘Earth 2’. When I bought this album from Amazon instead of being recommended Harvey Milk, Sunn O))) and Slayer I was recommended PJ Harvey and a bunch of ‘en vogue’ folk albums. I wouldn’t say Earth was for fans of Mumford & Sons but I guess they are now a hipster band and we will have to wait a few years before they lose that tag and then they will be the domain of solely Metal fans again.

Earth dropped the fuzzed out Drone with their return in 2005 (somewhere around there) and have since been using cleaner sounds. This continues with this album, with an almost completely new line-up. Many things remain the same; the riffs are still super slow and the drums reach about 30bpm at their quickest. First track ‘Old Black’ could have been on their last album ‘The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull.’ Some things however have changed. The star of the show has to be new cellist Lori Goldston, whose electric cello intertwines itself around Dylan Carlson’s guitar lines leading to a harmonious sound between the two. The final eponymous song was recorded live in the studio and illustrates the four members pulling together in exactly the right way to produce what will no doubt be one of the best albums of the year.

Awesome title, by the way...