We.Own.The.Sky – “The Glass/Nails EP”

The Glass/Nails EP cover art

Artist We.Own.The.Sky
Album The Glass/Nails EP
Genre Post Metal/Post-rock, Experimental, Ambient
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Label Independent
Release 1-13-13
Rating EXCELLENT

Amazing. Another fairly young band, in a foreign land, totally killing it. I’m actually getting sick of liking this much music. At some point I’m sure I’ll have the cathartic pleasure to review a bad endeavor for PostRockStar, but this isn’t it.

When I think of Greece, I think of ancient art, progressive thought, beautiful scenery and Dionysian delight. Oh, and Aphrodite’s Child. Athenian post-rockers we.own.the.sky have quite a bit in common with those notions. What they do is beautiful for certain, and some of it is quite progressive, which justifies the mention of a late 60’s early 70’s obscure rock band that I happen to love. I also happen to be ecstatic over this EP

“The Glass/Nails EP” was recorded over about 10 days in May of 2012. It seems like before that the 5-headed beast of we.own.the.sky was too busy gigging it’s ass off and packing houses in a place that isn’t exactly booming economically. Don’t gloss over that mention of five people, because it’s important. There are no keyboards on this album that I can detect. In fact, I can’t find any pure electronics at all, which is interesting for a band that presumably lifted their name from an M83 song. Wait…does that mean…three guitar players? Oh yes, it does. That means they can produce more layers then an onion. However, this attribute is used very wisely and mostly to thicken the sound, as opposed to drowning the listener in meandering. Tasteful and tactful describe the arrangements here.

Here exists a great blend of the heavy and sweet. When the song calls for it, these guys can definitely shake some ground, but it’s all for the better of the structure. “Blue 88” illustrates this perfectly, and also makes a bit of a sociopolitical point via spoken word sample. It’s an impressive piece, both musically, and in terms of intent, especially since most post-rock bands don’t get very political, or in this case, humanist, via song. The message is straight ahead without being overwrought, which I appreciate.

The opus of this EP is the three song “A Stain of Ink” cycle.  While all the songs on “The Glass/Nails EP” flow together seamlessly, these three are more thematically linked. From deft building of tension in “Part I,” we are given a chance to breathe with a slow and well embellished Pink Floyd-ian groove, before being delivered to a grandiose reprise of theme in “Part II.” “Part III” offers another chance to take in the smooth and slinky delay riddled landscape, ascending to a plateau of melodic wizardry, before hammering us home and leaving us in want of more.

Sonically, this EP is put together excellently. The mix is superb and the guitar tones are strong and fluent. The stereo spectrum is used fully by the instrumentation. At times instruments are swept and panned to affect the mood.  Drums pound when needed, and cymbals shimmer vibrantly all around. The bass is solid and tight. I cannot find fault with the production.

Here’s where the Dionysian delight comes in again. This effort should be way more on the radar then it is. Great music by a group of hard working and intelligent musicians living in possibly the most economically slumped country in the first world.  I can’t imagine a better execution for these pieces of music. Being into the kinds of music we review and support here, and not listening to this album is tantamount to passive masochism. Indulge and be rewarded.