At its softest and most heartfelt, An Eclectic Account by Rhino sounds reminiscent of Gates—especially when the vocal melodies and arpeggiated chords intermingle. The Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky influences are there—but this is true of any band within arms reach of post-rock. “Hate Speech” and “Other Million” show the band’s more delicate side while “Rooftops-The Equator” and the latter half of “Why I don’t Want To Live Forever” are such different offerings they could be mistaken as coming from an entirely different group.
Here, and in much of the album’s latter half, Rhino channels an obvious post-hardcore influence. The post-rock is always apparent, much in the same vein as A Hope For Home, O’Brother, or Pelican, but given the group’s many influences (and the album’s fitting title) the amalgamation is often very novel, if not enthralling.
“Why I Don’t Want To Live Forever,” mixes the two distinct sounds nicely; the first half of the song exhibits arguably the most beautiful, and subtle, guitar work on the album backed by a distinctly jazz-oriented rhythm section; at the mid-point the song takes a divisive turn, exploding into considerably heavier, almost metal, guitars and vocals. The difference is night and day, but the transition is one of the more interesting moments on the album.
Mixing overtly cathartic music with that which is inherently built on mood and climax makes for an interesting mix, especially when the musicians at the helm hail from down under. Modern post-hardcore in the US is trending with “The Wave”— a mixture of post-rock and post-hardcore— but very few bands have produced music nearly as, well, eclectic. If there existed a transition album between Pianos Become The Teeth’s The Lack Long After and Keep You (and if Pianos Become The Teeth listened to a lot of Fair To Midland and At The Drive-in) it might sound something like An Eclectic Account.
To be sure, Rhino is still an album away, at least, from creating their best music. The many elements at play on An Eclectic Account don’t always flow together, especially the sharp transitions from growled vocals to soft croons. The album is an exhausting effort, even without the last two tracks (which are a combined 17-minutes), but even its worst moments are still attention grabbing. And that is what sets this release apart from at least 75% of the albums produced today: there’s always something interesting here.
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