"Good idea music" is everywhere. It's on all those websites and blogs you bookmark. It's a mash of all the genres you like and the mass genre defining makes you drawl. It is talked about by others in such a way you think it could well be your favourite album ever made.
Grails fit this bill perfectly. Here's some labels I've found researching this album - post rock, experimental, world music, tribal, krautrock, instrumental, post metal, jazz...Being a big fan of many of these genres, it sounds absolutely enthralling. Throw in the `world music' tag, and even the daring `tribal' - the kind of vague, half-arse terminology thrown around in music - and you have yourself a melting pot of amazement.
Unfortunately, as with all "good idea music", the whole package is not the sum of its parts. You realise these wild and genius genre labels are mere reference points. I think of someone listening and thinking "oooaa this is kiiiiind of like Can....?Yes, this is sort of krautrock!" I also get the sense this is how Grails make the music, adding bits here and there, touching upon styles and sounds. It's unconvincing and timid. Instead of researching and delving into a sound, they add `influences'...flourishes of a weird unknown instrument, or a melody converted into electric guitar.
The whole album becomes an amalgamation of undeveloped references and influences. Songs blend and merge, building in volume and texture until deconstructing, all the time encompassing these influence/reference sounds. It's interesting to begin with and maybe for a couple of spins, but soon it becomes one-dimensional and predictable. It just seems too easy.