Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chemtrail - Youth Obsessed Death Culture

From Asbury Park, NJ, Chemtrail is bringing us some instrumental post rock, similar to that of Explosions in the Sky. It's music that is never too technical, but always pretty precise in it's delivery. Apparently this band has been around since 2007 and for some reason this is the first I am hearing about them.

"Peace Weapon" and "Honorable Mention" start the record off with a nice variety of tempos and volumes. Reverb and delay soak the guitars giving them a more spread out, larger feel. The drumming is very straight forward and precise. You can hear the perfect metronome timing in each beat even when things get busy (5:30 mark of "Honorable Mention"). With some nice bass that locks in well and some tasteful sprinkles of piano, these guys have a sound that is very tight and well planned.

"Spaced Invaders" begins on the up swing, foregoing the previous songs technique of building slowly to bring the song to shape. The dual guitar work is remarkable as one guitar works up the fretboard the other dives down, creating a nice contrast. "Mischief Night" also busts in with no warning and drives the song with a powerful waltz. It breaks at 1:49 for some beautiful, quiet instrumentation. The drums creep back in ever so slightly to begin a nice build up that relieves itself to a subdued rolling beat before launching back to the powerful waltz. The guitar lead at 4:05 is excellent and opens up the floor for the dueling string work that happens immediately after.

"Means to an End" takes us back down the more subdued path and spotlights the piano/guitar intermingling. It has a power burst at 2:20 which translates some great dramatics. "Safety Feature" also begins with a nice spotlight on the piano, with the use of some white noise adding texture to the background. I love the beat emphasized here with nice, slow drum rolls on every snare hit. The song ends with this beat taking center stage and I love it's unique simplicity.
The band keeps things moving in a nice direction with songs like "Solid Ground" and "Think Tank".

They close up shop with "Escape Artist", a 4:17 culmination of their talents that have been on display throughout the duration of this record. Of particular note is the building that begins about a minute in with it's rolling high hat work and carefully plucked notes. It builds the intensity well and pays off with an abrupt stop before launching into some full overdriven power. The jagged chords that drop in at the 3 minute mark create an awesome groove and tend to totally command your attention to bring this band's 9 song effort to a powerful close.

Check it out here.