Judah John is a solo artist from Brantford, Ontario who recently released potions. This is an eleven-song album that is drenched with the criteria for what makes a post-rock album. There is lots of reverb of the guitar, a cerebral, pensive quality to the riffs and many other aspects which define the genre. These songs specifically reminded me more of groups like Explosions in the Sky and Do Make Say Think. There is a very similar mix of mood which is often on the line between reflective melancholy and hopeful sentiment.
Out of the eleven songs I thought there a number of highlights starting with “valley (feat Ethan Sliver.” The song starts with a fantastic guitar lick and had a ’90s quality to it that came from bands on Touch and Go Records. As the song progresses it starts to feel more post-rock influenced with more contemplative moods. The end gets rolling again with an epic climax.
The slower moving “potions” is a psychedelic swirl. Drums go off doing their own thing only to join back with the guitars. There are some killer transitions throughout this song. I thought “begin” was a solid song as well. The song breathes and feels content being what it is. I also really enjoyed the increase of the BPM towards the end which soars.
I was thoroughly on board with “rivers” and the almost bluesy sounding “wolf (feat. Alex Borjanovic).” Spoken word samples also seem to be used in every other post-rock song since Godspeed You! Black Emperor made it popular. They show up on “wolf (feat. Alex Borjanovic)” and felt like an unnecessary addition to the song.
The production is good for a home recording. This genre I would say really benefits from multiple people playing live in a good studio more so than many others. That being said you can still hear some of the magic.
I thought this was a good post-rock album. There are some really inventive transitions, impressive technical skill and overall nice songwriting. Recommended.
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