Solkyri is an Australian post-rock band that truly pushes the boundaries of this genre. When you think about post-rock, it's almost instinctive to associate this type of music with melancholic, static and dark sonic landscapes. This band is different. Their approach is less cinematic and more dynamic, although quiet moments are still a big part of their sound. The Sydney ensemble manages to do justice to their growing reputation as one of Australia's leading instrumental bands with their latest release, the band's debut full length album entitled Are You My Brother?
Featuring nine tracks, this record stands in a league of its own, showcasing a wide variety of sounds, from deep, reverb-laced guitar lines to bright and uplifting piano melodies. Solkyri's sound owes to the post-rock scene (to state the obvious, think Explosions In The Sky or Godspeedyou!blackemperor) as much as to emo and math rock, with fascinating and well-articulated drum patterns and guitar arpeggios. One of the coolest things of the whole album is the frequent interplay between loud and quiet moments that even though has become a staple amongst post-rock seems to not be over used on these songs.
The album opens with the longest track that lasts a bit over 14 minutes entitled "His Ghost Will Invade Puerto Rico". Bells are the first thing you hear as guitars find there way into the music to create a serene, dreamy sequence that got my attention. The orchestration that is introduced amongst the already ethereal sounds compliments the music very well. The track mutates a number of times before growing heavier and more intense as the guitars become distorted and it starts to sound like a veil of white noise. Remenants of the distortion linger as the tracks end with the interplay of sweet guitar picking and piano. Other songs like "Hunter" don't have any lulls in the action as the band bobs and weaves through hard-hitting drums and epic guitar riffs not unlike something you might hear from the underrated Mogwai on their exceptional album Young Team. One of the highlights was "No, You Are My Better" which you may mistaken as being a more subtle song before it becomes one of the hardest half way through. The song builds as the band sound like one moving movement rather then individual instruments. It ends with a beautiful orchestral arrangement that was the cherry on top.
Vocals surface here and there as well, just like on the colorful sing-along coda of the album’s closing number "Threads Of An Old Life”. Solkyri is a charismatic band with an unpredictable approach. Check them out if you want to see what a genre like post-rock can offer when pushed to the limits and contaminated with a diverse range of influences!
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