Tuesday, March 8, 2011
[thefourohfive.com] It’s been a long three years since Vessels released their stunningly diverse debut album White Fields And Open Devices. The band may have been together for the best part of eight years, but remarkably Helioscope is only their second full-length release. Yet clichés aside, good things come to those who wait, and despite the prolonged gap between the two releases, Vessels’ waves of fans who have been eagerly awaiting the band’s next instrumental installment are sure to be conciliated by the result of the band’s painstaking, yet prolific body of work.
The Leeds-based quintet are often cast beneath the ever-unfolding umbrella of the post-rock genre, yet as made evident from the bestial instrumental narratives of their debut, their plentiful frenetic live shows over the years and now on their second album, Vessels are clearly championing a new breed of industrial music.
Perhaps this is one reason behind the band’s decision to release ‘Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute’ as the first single from Helioscope. Placed in the centre of the album’s tracklisting, the soft glockenspiel and piano introduction that continues to glide through the song’s entirety couldn’t be further away from the post-rock category that they’re chained to. With the beautifully voiced Stuart Warwick of Jacobs Stories on vocal duties Vessels strive to subvert their post-rock tag with the inclusion of lyrics that run throughout the song. It is soft and it is beautiful, and most of all it’s unexpected. Yet the track is turned on its head when Vessels quicken the pace and escalate the volume just before the song’s ending, creating a harmonious climax of instrumentation that complements the song’s structure rather than implementing it for their own self-indulgence. This is Vessels at their very best, proving that when it comes to changes in momentum and sonority, they’ve got contrast down to an art form.
While Vessels may have been attempting to suppress their pigeonholed musical sound through ‘Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute’, the first two tracks on Helioscope show Vessels at their full-blown, explosive best. ‘Monoform’ begins with the soft syncopation of electronic keys tinkling until the drums and a thumping bass line kick in almost immediately. The pace is established rapidly, layers of instruments are gradually added – a glockenspiel here and an additional guitar there – serving to progress before the prolonged, yet inevitable swell of sounds that the listener hungrily waits for pushes through at the five-minute mark. Second single and the album’s second track ‘The Trap’ follows a similar pattern of progression, yet manages to sound completely different. With both songs electronic edges are also apparent, and it very much appears that, although perhaps unwittingly, Vessels are striving to reclaim the industrial electronic rock torch from the likes of 65daysofstatic who have evolved into the more dance-based dimensions of the genre.
READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW HERE.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 6:36 PM