(IamHop note: The reinforcements have arrived! Please welcome Foofer to the Postrockstar family. Foofer will be writing reviews for us going forward and joining the staff just in time to partake in our year end awards.)
I really love Start Stop Worrying. I really do.
The Shaking Sensations really set the bar for themselves when they released their first conceptual EP, ‘This Is Your Hellfire Religion!’ in 2010. Showing off their compositional prowess, and their knack for making an album with smooth transitions between tracks, they made a very loud entrance onto the post-rock scene.
The following year they released their first full-length album, ‘East of Youth’. While it’s a bit more subdued than their first release, it still shows their innate ability to make an album that flows smoothly from beginning to end.
Nearly two years later, out comes ‘Start Stop Worrying’ – Six pieces of musical excellence, bookended by two 10-minute epics. More Aggressive than their self-titled EP, and more mature and developed than their first full-length, ‘Start Stop Worrying’ is an excellent example of how a band can grow and flesh out their strengths while still making an enjoyable album.
The opening track, ‘Rocket Summer’, draws you in with a quiet trio of guitars, and then turns it on its head and starts blasting away with startling change of pace.
From that point on, you know that you should be paying attention.
The album isn’t a technical achievement by any means, it’s actually quite straightforward in terms of instrumentation and song structure, the composition is what makes this album superb. Whether you’re looking at each track individually or the album as a whole, the flow feels natural and organic. Every song is in the right order, and it usually winds up in the direction you want it to go. From the constant e-bow usage in ‘We Ourselves Alone’ to the percussion in ‘Gild the Lily’, it all just sounds like it belongs there, as if the song would be incomplete without it.
All good things come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the ending itself is any good. As soon as I saw how long the last track was, I knew it was going to be similar to how most albums end: One giant crescendo, ending with this wall of sound that attempts to leaves you dizzy as soon as it ends. Sure enough, that’s just what happened and I didn’t like it one bit. The song by itself is fine, it’s quite the musical achievement, but I think the album ends on too familiar a note to be outstanding, in the most literal definition of the word. This is an infinitesimal problem to have with an album, but it’s really the only problem I can find.
Overall, it really is an exquisite album. It’s a labor of love and it shows. From the artwork, to the music itself, to the vinyl packaging (how can you not love black/white/red vinyl?) it is gorgeous, no matter how you look at it.