Album Review: The End Of The Ocean – -aire

the-end-of-the-ocean-aireThe End Of The Ocean – -aire

Post Rock | Instrumental

63%

This is one of those frustrating releases that has a kind of push and pull to it. A feeling of Yin and Yang at work where there are elements you love and elements you don’t, that in the end just seem to nullify each other. -aire has the unfortunate tendency to start pushing you away just as it was starting to draw you in. With the exception of album highlight ‘bravado’, with its energising riffs and expressive percussion, and the chilled out vibes of ‘self’, each track has a particular section which feels as though it is holding the song back. An album with such highs and lows is far more irksome than an album that is at a steady average throughout, because you know that with a few minor tweaks it could potentially be something that blows you away, while instead it sadly becomes forgettable.

The one pattern that I can ascribe to the album with some certainty is that it impresses me most in its softer moments. When it takes a heavier turn, like the grating jackhammer drums of ‘jubilant’ or the doom laden riffs of the latter half of ‘forsaken’, it just descends into an unwelcoming wall of sound. Thankfully, just about every track begins as something far more gentle, intricate and nuanced. I adore the sparse atmospheric guitar that opens ‘redemption’ and the way it adds triumphant drums into the mix in the mid section. The gorgeous piano and skittering beat of ‘desire’ is something I’d love to hear more of, albeit without the abrasive and dissonant guitar that follows. There are some brilliant stand-out moments in this album, but sadly not enough to make it an essential listen for all except the most stalwart of post rock fans.

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