Friday, July 1, 2011

Codes in the Clouds - As the Spirit Wanes

This album came out all the way back in January, but I want to talk about it so dammit I'm going to. Not to mention I think it needs more attention. Once I'm done catching up on all the 2011 albums I feel like talking about that have come out thus far, I'll have like a three month cut off date.
Codes in the Clouds is one of the more recent post-rock bands to come onto the scene, from England. Which is cool because a lot of post-rock bands tend to be Japanese, I'm noticing... anyways, I was really excited to hear this album, as a huge fan of instrumental rock and post-rock in general. Especially since I heard a few songs off their 2009 album and was very impressed with what I heard. So now we have As the Spirit Wanes (which is free to listen to on their bandcamp page, link at the bottom of this post). And it's about what you'd expect from instrumental post-rock. Emotive, sometimes feeling melancholic and cloudy-day like music, and then a huge crescendo will come in like the sun bursting through the clouds. Probably sounds like a very familiar feeling if you've listened to the likes of Sigur Rós. What we have here is very pretty guitar work, for the most part. There's bass and drums to compliment them, but for the most part the guitar is entirely in the foreground. There are moments where a violin might come in, but less so than a lot of post-rock you'll hear. And while this is more simple in instrumentation and production than you might expect, they're still very good at getting those emotions from you. It does sometimes suffer from that more simple instrumentation though.
At times the album can feel a bit predictable, like you know exactly what they're going to try and throw at you next. Overall it's quite enjoyable and emotive, but doesn't require as much attention as you might expect from the genre. It's pretty, it's melancholic, it's hopeful. It goes through the usual. But it still does so in a very enjoyable way. This kind of music is perfect for laying in the grass and staring at the sky. Or even laying in bed and you just want to think. It's thoughtful but not overbearing and doesn't feel like it's trying too hard, which is one of the things I like about it. It's not up and in your face desperately trying to get an emotional response from you. It just sits down, does it's thing, and walks away letting you decide for yourself.
I haven't had a lot to say in reviewing this, and that might seem like a sign that it's uninteresting, which I wouldn't say. It's just that while I like it there isn't a lot to give much comment on. It's fairly generic post-rock, but it's good post rock. If you like post-rock at all you should like this, and maybe if you've been wanting to try out on instrumental stuff this would be a decent place to start, as it is accessible and an easy listen. And it's free, dammit. No point in not seeing for yourself.


Favorites: Where Dirt Meets Water, You and I Change Like Seasons, Cold Calls


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