Review Round Up #1

In an effort to catch up on the backlog of post-rock releases this year that postrockstar hasn’t reviewed yet, we’ll be doing short review wrap ups until we are caught up. This is the first installment of what shall now be known as “Review Round Up”

Whorl cover art
Nathaniel Noton-Freeman – Whorl – 89%

Nathaniel Noton-Freeman is an acoustic solo artist from Worcester, MA. With a degree in theory/Composition I was excited to see that he has not one but two releases this year. The first release is “Whorl” and is a 34 minute 9-track odyssey that should appeal to post-rock fans who enjoy the lighter side of the genre. The album is complex and beautifully layered with acoustic guitars going in every which direction. The layering gives it an ambient post-rock-esque feel and is what really sets this apart from other acoustic artists such as Trace Bundy or Andy McKee. All in all the album is extremely soothing and the flow never misses a beat. Excellent tones and fantastic sound engineering make this one of my favorite ambient releases of 2012. 9-3-12

Pay what you want on bandcamp: http://whorl.bandcamp.com/album/whorl

Cairn cover art
Nathaniel Noton-Freeman – Cairn – 80%

Unlike “Whorl”, “Cairn” is a much shorter, 4-track 12 minute EP that was created around the idea of working with only one guitar layer. As a result it sounds almost nothing like Nathaniel’s other work. It sounds far more acoustic than ambient and definitely similar to other acoustic artists I’m familiar with. “Gray Eyes” is without question the best work on the album. I like that Nathaniel decided to switch it up with this release. However the EP is far less refined as well, string vibrations are strung throughout and it just sounds sonically inferior to the way Whorl was recorded. All in all a short but sweet effort. 9-3-12

Pay what you want on bandcamp: http://whorl.bandcamp.com/album/cairn

Tell Me Tales of Canada cover art
Without AeroplanesTell Me Tales of Canada EP83%

“Tell Me Tales of Canada” is the debut release from post-rockers Without Aeroplanes who come to us from Glasgow. I found this album to be highly moody and bleak at times. The soundstaging is especially surprising as the drums sound extremely spacious and airy most of the time. The drumming does an excellent job in its duel role of setting the pace and also standing out while still complimenting the rest of the instruments. Guitars are beautiful and flow freely throughout the album in all their layered glory. I prefer the cleaner, softer valleys of Without Aeroplane’s work to their heavier stuff where distorted guitar tones always end up sounding improperly equalized and quite muddy. I did enjoy one heavier segment a lot though near the ending of the track “Circling” as an extremely rich and heavy tone hits its stride and demolishes everything in its path. the crescendo-based guitar work that spirals about is excellent also. At the end of the day I find this release from Without Aeroplanes to be a good starting point for a promising young band with a lot of potential. 9-3-12

Pay what you want on bandcamp: http://withoutaeroplanes.bandcamp.com/