All shall be well (aasbwalmotsbw) – ROODBLAUW – 79%

ROODBLAUW cover art

Written by Jerome Marshall

All shall be well (and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well) aren’t overwhelmingly concerned with sweeping you off your feet. Much like their name implies, they’re more interested in soothing you.

Spanning five songs and 40.8 minutes, ‘ROODBLAUW’, All shall be well’s debut EP, is a thoroughly enjoyable cohesive piece of minimalist post-rock. And man, is it minimalist. After listening to the entire EP three or four times, the only word my brain wanted to use to describe ‘ROODBLAUW’ was “deliberate” and I think that’s exactly what the band wants. Each song is carefully crafted and delivered at an ambling place, and there aren’t many exceptions to this rule. While listening to ‘ROODBLAUW’ your ear might start to want release and explosive dynamics after so much build up, but All shall be well just won’t give it to you. At least not in the manner you expect.

The first track, “Mothers, Tell Your Daughters Our Music Is All Awful Noise And We’re Just A Bunch of No-Goods” comes in at 7:09 and there isn’t one excess note. It takes nearly three whole minutes of subdued organ chords before the listener gets to hear anything that might pique their interest. Eventually the organ fades away and is replaced with warm, softly reverberated guitar licks gently laid over plodding drums, but the song’s pace doesn’t ever pick up.

“Mothers” tapers off and we’re again treated to classic saccharine post-rock guitar work in the song “There will always be at least a thousand things you don’t know.” The production on ‘ROODBLAUW’ is incredibly tight and leaves all the instrumentation feeling very close, creating an intimate experience for the listener. This track is easily the strongest example in my opinion. “thousand things” flows at a slightly quicker pace than “Mothers” but, much like the majority of this release, still refuses to rock harder than hammock.

By the time you get through the next three songs, you’ll understand that All shall be well are exceptionally good at resisting the temptation to explode into grandeur the way most post-rock bands do. They choose to slowly swell their instruments at such a gradual pace by the time it gets loud you don’t recognize it much. “History Is Ever Ours For The Reliving” showcases All shall be well at their loudest but it still displays control and precision rather than passion.

ROODBLAUW’ is far from perfection. At times the subtle dynamics and torpid song flow grow monotonous to the ear and the band’s refusal to experiment with song styles makes the individual tracks flow into each other a little too well. Quite often I would have to double-check the song title when I was listening because it was difficult to distinguish between the songs. But it’s still a worthwhile listen and a solid effort from a new band. Just don’t expect to be lifted to your feet while experiencing this album.

That in mind, this EP is perfect for calm drives, writing to, and any other relaxed activity, which I don’t think the band would have any problem with me saying.

Pay What You Want: http://allshallbewell.bandcamp.com/album/roodblauw