It’s so easy to get jaded with music.
And comparatively difficult to get out of ruts.
Are you in that funk at the moment? Stumped when confronted Spotify’s search bar? Tired of your usual stalwart albums?
Give this a spin. It’ll clear your head.
It’s the project of quietly determined songwriter and producer Cormac Phelan, who’s been plugging away for years at gently melancholy post rock releases to arrive finally at an album of outstanding calibre.
‘Complicity’ isn’t metal or even hard rock. Think more of Anathema, Radiohead, Low, Antimatter, Steven Wilson, that kind of thing.
To wit, great acoustic and mildy distortyed vamps built over absolutely superbly programmed and textured drums, augmented with fantastic NiN inspired aural candy, plus Cormac’s accented, authentic vocal.
It is addictively simple while completely failing to mask the undoubted hours and hours and hours of craft and structuring that have gone into it.
Remember Revile, subsequently Parhelia? It reminds me of them in parts.
‘Sorry’ is better than everything on the last Anathema record as it builds over that angry little lead lick; the strummed acoustics sound like they’re off ‘Hindsight’.
His vocals, thick with a sort of wan Dublin brogue, remind me, when he pushes, of Feargal Sharkey around ‘A Good Heart’. This is especially true when his emotional wobble intrudes into ‘Redefined Again’.
I hear a lot of Steven Wilson’s arrangement style. A bit of Radiohead around ‘Amnesiac’, particularly in the drum programming. A bit of Gathering’s ‘How To Measure A Planet’ in that fuzz-fat-saturated guitar, again in ‘Redefined Again’.
‘Some Men Would Sink’ has the guitar tone of first album Placebo, specifically ‘Lady Of The Flowers’.
There is such a wide array of influences in here, from Earth to Elliot Smith, from Elbow to Red House Painters.
Not metal – but then I write this on Sunday. Take a break. Get your ears round this.
But enough wittering from me. It’s an absolutely brilliant and refreshing collection of post-rock songs, each cutting through with a germ of brilliance at its core.
If you were disappointed with the last Anathema, and you should have been, then get this down you. It’s in the same territory, and its absolutely marvellous.
4.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 26/01/18