I've gotten better at not throwing out whomever another artist's music reminds me of, but damn if I didn't have to keep from shouting "BORIS!" during Strategies of Being. Pounding drumming, guitar riffs ascending toward rainy skies and deep bass lines swathed in noisy beauty. I did feel a bit silly as the track continued, and I realized the music changed too quickly to be considered stoner rock.
To start with, Soft Unseen is an Endicott, New York group that channel their love of post-rock guitar quakes in less than 20 minutes of heavy music. They remain faithful to their influences, which they list as Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The first two tracks, out of a total three, use the watermark guitar-led drama while drums and bass cover the rear with heavy harmonies.
"Cut in Half by Your Garage Door" quickly goes from serene to loud as the guitars become distorted and drums are hit harder. The song sticks to the soft to loud formula and chooses not to deviate too far from this formula. "Scattered Origins" has some wicked guitar parts that ascend, descend and then cascade across the musical surface. At the two minute mark the song has a breakdown to simply guitar before building back up into a distorted veil of white noise.
The third track, "Spoonfuls of Champagne," is a pleasant surprise, using much more funk-inspired bass and guitar lines before the drummer jumps in to create a toe-tapping melody that contradicts the more dramatic sound of the previous two tracks.
Frankly, Strategies of Being is too short to deeply review. We have three solid examples of good post-rock, with a bit of genre mutation at the EP's end; nothing complicated, just gorgeous sheets of sound hailing your eardrums.
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