Album Reviews

And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmer – Album Review

And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmer – Album Review by Killian Laher

And So I Watch You From Afar initially appeared on the radar 8 or 9 years ago with a heavy take on taut, lean instrumental post-rock.  Over the next few albums, they resisted the temptation to go down the obvious hardcore route and produced complex, barrages of sound, adding percussion and vocals where appropriate.  However at times, some of their more recent material has sounded more fun for them to play than for us to listen to.

On their fifth album, they have dropped any vocals and gone for their own version of ‘back-to-basics’.  Opener Three Triangles barrels in on an insistent beat as guitars alternate between intricate squeals and heavy riffs for five minutes or so.  Indeed, the first few tracks are almost like one continuous song, A Slow Unfolding of Wings follows in a similar vein to the opener, with stop-start rhythms and bludgeoning riffs.  Pop music this ain’t!  After a fairly breathless opening, Dying Giants arrives as something of a centrepiece.  While it begins with a series of complicated heavy guitar patterns, these build upwards and upwards in intensity to a stunning climax six minutes in when much of the instrumentation falls away, leaving delicate, blissed-out rumbles of guitar and strings, of all things.  The epic All I Need Is Space is one of the more enjoyable tracks here with its unpredictable twists and turns, rising and falling in intensity throughout.  Those who enjoyed the ‘party’ feel of 2013’s All Hail Bright Futures are catered for here with the intense-sounding title track.  Later, the six minute plus I’ll Share A Life is an almost danceable stomp, though, in common with most tracks here, there are several ideas contained within the one song, just when you think you have figured one out, it shifts.

Occasionally they lapse into a blizzard of rock riffs (Terrors of Pleasure, Mullally), and these, even after several listens, are a little inscrutable and hard to get into.  This has the effect of making these tracks seem longer than they actually are.  Redemption arrives in the form of the almost waltz-time heavy riffing Chrysalism, an epic blow-out to close the album.  But And So I Watch You From Afar have got to the point where they sound like nobody else, only themselves.  This album is surely one that will delight their fans.  Fair play to them for ploughing their own furrow, even if it is one they are occasionally in danger of disappearing down.

Track List –

1. Three Triangles
2. A Slow Unfolding of Wings
3. Terrors of Pleasure
4. Dying Giants
5. All I Need Is Space
6. The Endless Shimmering
7. Mullally
8. I’ll Share A Life
9. Chrysalism

A Slow Unfolding of Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music

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