Thursday, 19 July 2012

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being

I can pretty much garantee you that you haven't heard of this band. They are a local 5-man experimental post-rock outfit from Montreal and this is their first EP. They opened for The American Dollar a couple of days ago, and announced that they released this EP, and I liked their performance, so I decided to check it out. I don't normally write reviews for local stuff. I usually stick to some of my favorite albums, but I have the sudden urge to talk about them now. Why? Well, I think they're really good. Like, really good. This is pretty damn impressive for a first EP. I didn't notice this until my second listen, but this EP has a really strong Godspeed You! Black Emperor feel to it (in case you don't know, they're my all-time favorite band). They have those ambient and drone moments as well as samples, sorta like those scattered throughout Godspeed's Lift your Skinny Fists. Like, at some points, it's eerily similar, though they're definitely not a copy-cat band. They have their own psychedelic touch to their music. They have their own sound.

Let's look at this track by track. The first track, Carpets Through the Fog, starts out with an excellent ambient drone and then quickly cuts to a quick psychedelic part and then goes back to drone. It's a nice intro. It segues into the second track, Silento Del Dezerto, which is by far my favorite form the EP. The bass in this is so fun to listen to. It has this fluttering synth that reminds me a lot of the fluttering guitar in Godspeed's Sleep (during the Monheim mouvement). Near the end, both electric guitars kinda play off each other with the bass in the background. That fades out and segues into La Mezquita, the third track. This is probably the closest these guys are to a Godspeed sound. The drums in this track really steals the show. It has this really dramatic quality to it. It builds up for 6 minutes with the guitars to a cacophonous climax which quickly fades out and then segues into the last song, Sunset Shirley (La Dee Da). This is a short outro, that has a melancholic feeling. It's a happy end to a journey.

This is certainly an impressive EP and I love what I hear, but I guess I do have some qualms. I know this is an EP, but I felt like some build up could have been a little longer. Some transitions from post-rock to ambience and vice-versa felt a little quick, like in the first track. I also felt that the outro could have used a bit more variety and maybe be a little longer. But yeah, the middle two tracks are definitely great. I'm looking forward for the material these guys put out in the future. They're pretty cool. After the American Dollar set was over and I waited for the bus outside, they passed by with their ironing boards and actually thanked me for coming to the show. That was kind of neat.

7/10 peeps might dig this.

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being from Anthony Sifoni on Vimeo.


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