posted on 7/2007 By:
Back about 5 or 6 years ago, a brand new, silver-shiny train pulled through Metalsville and whipped the town into a frenzy…a big ol’ post-metal frenzy. Before long, it seemed like everyone around me was talking about how fresh and exciting this fancy new contraption was, but me being an old grumble-grouse, I ignored all the hullabaloo and opted to let it all pass by as I stubbornly sat waiting for that ol’, familiar No. 9 train. I eventually decided to see what all the fuss was about, and found myself hopping aboard the Isis train with Oceanic, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy the hell out of that ride. In fact, I still take that trip now and again today and still enjoy it just as much as that inaugural voyage. Yep, that’s right ya tender-footed tallywackers, you can teach an old dog new tricks, we just might not want to do them all the time.
My point is this: I know a lot of our readers don’t like the idea of reviewers being critical of genres they’re not particularly versed in, but the truth is even a caveman such as myself likes to cruise the rails on something fresh now and again, and the little 30-minute ride I recently encountered courtesy of the latest EP from Ireland’s Parhelia definitely left me duly impressed and ready for them to release a full-length album.
With my ignorance brazenly splayed on my sleeve, I have a difficult time coming up with who I think this band’s sound most closely parallels. It’s a bit like what I’ve heard from a record like Oceanic, but where Isis seem to have a foot squarely planted in riffin’ heavy metal, Parhelia more resembles good-old-fashioned indie rock n’ roll. In other words, this really ain’t heavy metal, kids, at least not to my ears. Instead, Oceans Apart reminds me more of the days when I used to hear Shellac, Tortoise, Rodan, and Don Caballero drifting from my roommate’s bedroom back in the early-to-mid 90’s. Those are definitely fond memories, mind you, and this young band really does a nice job of rekindling flashbacks of cool summer nights when we’d just kick back and let our brains get cloaked in some fine instrumental indie-rock that seamlessly drifted from jangly and introspective to moments nothing short of epic and uplifting.
Our very own Jason Jordan reviewed this band’s previous EP, First Light, about a year ago, and I believe he summed things up very nicely with a one-worded verdict: tasteful. The Oceans Apart EP is just as tasteful as their previous effort, but this time around the band seems to have found the formula necessary to craft tunes that are slightly more memorable and infectious. If I had to bust out my red pen for something, I’d say they need to stray further from the rigid blueprint that demands all instruments be played simultaneously at all times, and I’d like to hear a tad more inventiveness behind the drum kit as well. These gripes are relatively minor, however, and honestly don’t stand in the way of making this little ride quite rewarding, especially for fans of any of the aforementioned bands. I definitely recommend folks check ‘em out.
Register to post comments.