Top critical review
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Eh? I Feel I'm Missing Something...
on 10 September 2007
I really don't understand the massive acclaim this album receives. I would go as far to say it's...boring!!!
GAH strike me down, (and I'm sure this little review will be...) but I find this album way too monotonous to be interesting. This review may come across as scathing, but don't get me wrong, I think this is decent (hence 3 stars), but I will explain why I don't understand the mass of 5 star reviews.
I am not an expert on post-rock, but I do very much enjoy a selection of bands from it. The best, and probably most obvious choice, being the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who always manage to create epic, sprawling pieces with monumental climaxes. Bands like Mogwai, Silver Mt. Zion and Fly Pan Am also very much interest me, but this album just doesn't come close.
After giving it repeated listens, and really wanting to like it, I cannot fool myself. My biggest disappointment was the lack of climaxes in songs, not one song here takes me to that 'different level' - that disorientating adrenaline rush that the best of this genre can create. The loud rocking sections are just too generic and the band do not build them up enough, shown instantly by "Greet Death" which just thunders in with a barrage of boring guitars and drums after some ambient (what I originally thought was going to be build-up play) noise.
Too often in the quiet sections the guitar motifs are simply boring. I mean, just noodling slowly up and down a scale is atmospheric to a degree, but quite simply DULL. And then all of a sudden the listener is hit with massive noise, again highlighted in "Yasmin The Light" which farts around for a couple of minutes, then all of a sudden the band just crash out a fast-tempo section with no notable riff or motif, just lots and lots of drums.
And this is another problem for me, the drumming. This guy must be in a marching band, because he ALWAYS opts for the drum roll march build-up, which is frankly repetitive and unoriginal.
The only song that I really enjoyed here, and can easily listen to again is "Have You Passed Through This Night?", with its brooding spoken-word intro which leads to a crushing finale. This song is how the band SHOULD be doing it, creating atmosphere - building - climax, instead of noodling around and then banging the life out of everything.
Disappointing album for me, showing potential to be great, but just never quite reaching it.