Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Calm Blue Sea

For Austin musicians, it must be difficult not to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre of music. One band emulates Spoon, while another is compared to Trail of Dead and so forth. So many bands and solo artists reside, come through or cut their teeth in the ATX, you almost have to fall into one category or another. When I first listened to the mostly-instrumental self-titled album from The Calm Blue Sea, I immediately labeled them as followers of another Austin instrumental band, Explosions In The Sky. That may be the influence of EITS producer Erik Wofford, but do not think that is a bad thing. They have grabbed the attention of many Austin and Texas publications, like Austinist and Soundcheck Magazine. The Austin Chronicle named The Calm Blue Sea one of the best experimental bands in Austin, along with Ghostland Observatory and The Octopus Project.

Set to be released September 30, this album is a sonic experience. Every song is an epic, the shortest track being a little over five minutes long. Individually, each track is its own micro-symphony. The calm beginning of the opening track "We Happy Few" builds quickly into a complete wall of sound, then just a fast, recedes back into a soft roll of piano and guitar to crescendo once again. The veiled vocalizations in "Literal" add a haunting element to dark, almost disturbing cacophony of feedback and hard-driving riffs that create the major theme of the song. The final song, "This Will Never Happen Again", is the defining piece of the album. Featuring what sounds like an audio diary that is barely audible over the guitar and hum of bass, the music slowly builds in volume to a dream-like, trance-inducing quality, then breaks down into a menacing military style march with heavy percussion and feedback laden guitars. This is a worthwhile pick-up for experimental instrumental music fans and a good introduction to the genre for the uninitiated.

mp3: This Will Never Happen Again
Full Album Stream



Post a Comment

<< Home