Sea Hero – Graustark

a2415691309_10Instrumental Post Rock

Self-Released – January 9th, 2016

Sea Hero is a Louisville five-piece that released this album just in time to call it quits as a band. Though the group has been playing and producing music since before 2012, Graustark is the first album of theirs that I’ve heard, and a really nice one at that. Made up of six songs, the album plays in under thirty-five minutes, but in no way does it feel short or rushed – most of the songs are mid-tempo, texturally oriented tracks that take a calculated time to flesh themselves out before reaching their next point of arrival. Without words (although “Pride Comes Before the Fall” features a vocal sample), Sea Hero is fully capable of conveying emotion and some narrative with guitars, a bass, and drums. Most effective are those tracks that fully explore the band’s capacity for range – the album’s first track, “Like Beasts,” begins with a quiet intro, patiently rumbles into a full-out wash of guitars, and exits softly with a reprise of the intro. In much the same way, “A Spoonful of Dirt,” closes the album with even more a patient build, reaching multiple climaxes throughout its playtime – the final three minutes of the song are totally gorgeous, well-orchestrated noise. Between these two tracks are heavier, grungier pieces of music – “They Will Fall, They Always Do” has the distortion and reverb turned up on the guitars, the bass pumping with a more devious intensity, and an even more dramatic presence from the drums. As a whole, Graustark is well-paced, intricate, and explores a full range of textures, atmospheres, and emotions. For those who like post-rock – Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or even Sigur Rós – this should be a very enjoyable and repeatable listen.

Tracks I Liked: Like Beasts!!, Pride Comes Before the Fall!, They Will Fall, They Always Do, A Spoonful of Dirt!!!

Ben Southworth – January 13th, 2016 – Kenwick Place

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