Release DetailsLABEL Exile On Mainstream Records
RELEASED ON 7/20/2006
Chasing The Form
posted on 8/2006 By:
In my review of Stand-Up Guy’s In Fixation, Conspire I lumped Ostinato in with several, instrumental post-rock bands. While Chasing the Form features a lot of exquisite, instrumental passages, vocals do arise occasionally, so by definition this young threesome isn’t an instrumental unit. Nevertheless, no matter which approach they decide to use – vocal-free or otherwise – it’s apparent that these Virginians are experienced musicians capable of making stellar music. And their sophomore installment, after Left Too Far Behind, offers rewards for a listener who has even relatively diverse tastes.
While the vocals are often only slightly above a whisper, they’re always dreamy and weightless. Ostinato made a wise decision when they chose not to intermingle the fast-paced, instrumental sections with the diametrically-opposed vocals, which would’ve resulted in disaster had they been combined. It’s also worth noting that the group’s moniker is a musical term that centers on repetition, and a large chunk of Chasing the Form is repetitive without being monotonous. “Goal of All Believers,” a solid opening piece, showcases their collective ability and is a good indication of what you’ll encounter during the remainder of the 50-minute album in true, piecemeal fashion. Whereas “Monkey Gestures” has a Russian Circles vibe, “Antiaircraft” incorporates brass a la Kayo Dot, “The Art of Vanishing” draws from Opeth and Neurosis, and the spoken-word samples matched with the introductory melody of “Volant” could lead to Ostinato being mistaken for Chroma Key.
Essentially, Chasing the Form is a subgenre melting pot (post-rock, indie rock, avantgarde, et cetera), but unlike Stand-Up Guy, the music found here is more seamless yet less forceful. And though the ostensible influences can be pinpointed rather easily, the record does not suffer as a result, leaving us with the only option of basking in its proficiency. My hope is that Ostinato craft a followup that can actually follow a great record like this one, which becomes more endearing as it unravels.
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