Release DetailsLABEL Viva Hate Records
RELEASED ON 9/21/2007
Long Distance Calling
posted on 12/2007 By:
Need more instrumental post-rock? I don’t either, but here we are. To be fair, though, German five-piece Long Distance Calling play it with verve, even if they sound too similar to fellow water-conjuring acts such as Explosions in the Sky, Isis, Tides, et al. In effect, the hour-long Satellite Bay can be deemed a good yet unnecessary debut that will likely play second fiddle to outings from premier bands in the post-rock/Neur-Isis-core niche.
Nevertheless, Satellite Bay is well-rounded, offering several passages that prove captivating in the moment, but are underwhelming when compared to the highest standards of post-rock. For instance, the burgeoning introductory portion of opener “Jungfernflug,” where it builds to a crescendo and then crashes into full-on, distorted instrumentation, won’t surprise anyone – especially fans of Neur-Isis-inspired troupes like Cult of Luna, Mouth of the Architect, Red Sparowes, Rosetta, and the above-cited. Still, the gripping riff at 5:40 is fun while it lasts, as is most of the material up for grabs, and the quintet wield their instruments with confidence a la Irepress. Though “Fire in the Mountain” commences in a drifting fashion, in addition to the ambient underwater tune “Aurora” and the aptly-titled caboose “Swallow the Water,” “Horizon” parallels Chicago-area outfits Pelican and Russian Circles due to its nimble, quirky nature, which is chock full of bouncy, melody-strewn sections.
Unfortunately, the voiceovers in “Fire in the Mountain,” “Aurora,” “The Very Last Day,” and Peter Dolving lyric (The Haunted) in “Built Without Hands” don’t fit in well. Song placement becomes an issue too, considering “The Very Last Day” seems best suited to bring Satellite Bay to a close because of its hefty length of 10:22, allusion to global warming, and diction. Instead, “Built Without Hands” and “Swallow the Water” both succeed it.
In spite of the negatives, one must admit that Long Distance Calling are emotionally engaging, which counts for something, but so are the groups they closely resemble. All in all, Satellite Bay is of secondary or perhaps even tertiary importance, unless your appetite for post-rock is insatiable. Otherwise, a passing glance should suffice.
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