Friday, June 02, 2006

Aereogramme / Seclusion / Rating: 6.8

“Intentionally or otherwise, Seclusion comes off more as a teaser for an upcoming full-length than a complete album. And if that was in fact the purpose of this disc, then mission accomplished, you blue-balling bastards.”

Anyone who has ever recorded music at a studio knows this trick. Once you have your first mix of any song, you listen to it (no matter how sick of hearing it you are) on as many different stereos as possible. The theory is each stereo will reveal something new and totally varied from the one before or after it. It may prove on one system that tracks need to be remixed, on another hi-fi –barely tweaked, and on yet another stereo- totally scratched and remixed. The idea is to find an audio average you, the rest of the band, and the producer/engineer can live with. Ultimately these best mixes become the final finished product. (post mastering)

The key to this process is making sure you listen to the songs on at least two crappy stereos like an ancient car stereo or a computer’s built in speaker. The rule is, if a song sounds great on a bad stereo, it will sound AMAZING on a good one. Beyond studio trickery and production value, a well written song will stand up to any stereo, high quality or not.

Aereogramme’s Seclusion has jumped from stereo to stereo; my car, living room, computer and walkman (no ipod for this gal) more specifically and while each stereo provides a slightly different listen, they all confirmed one thing.

Aereogramme’s music is stunning.

I have confessed before a past heavily rooted in late 80’s / early 90’s emo so when I say there is a desperation and beauty, something magnetic about this band that rivals Sunny Day Real Estate, I am not just throwing out a name for name's sake. Emo has become a dirty word but if there was a way to clean the slate, place it in a positive / correct context, this would be it.

All the traditional emo adjectives come to mind: dynamic, emotional(duh), tension filled, uncomfortably intimate at times… but what makes this band unique is the addition of metal in a non metal-core and delicate electronics. A Jeremy Enigk Molotov cocktail including later Radiohead and Isis (as PFM also suggests) is truly the best way I know how to explain Aereogramme’s aggressive tendencies partnered with cry yourself to sleep melodies.

The out of place blazing guitar solos on "Lightning Strikes the Postman" taints an otherwise pretty darn powerful and perfect EP.

The PFM review leaves me nothing to argue about in great detail but the rating. What can I say; while I have no balls to blue and I like a good tease. The Seclusion EP offers a taste worthy of an 8 and in turn I am holding onto the expectation that their next full length should earn at least an 8 or higher.

My only question is if this EP is two years old already, where the hell is that full length?