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Album Review

by Sunken Seas


Review Date
19th October 2015
Reviewed by
Rangi Powick

Sunken Seas’ second album Glass is a mesmerising set of songs built on the strong foundations of what has preceded it. A top layer hewn from the rattling guitar dissonances of their spacious debut Null Hour (2012) is anchored by a thick bass and rhythm punch that recently came to the fore on the Cataclysm EP (2013). The band also channels energy from other sonic sources. Whether it’s the post-rock soundscapes of Mogwai, the dour splendour of Bauhaus or noises from the darker end of the Flying Nun catalogue, there is something here that will appeal to almost any fan of sonic experimentation.

The majority of the writing for Glass is the result of self-induced "cabin fever" when the band isolated themselves in a remote hut in the Wairarapas. It shows. From the dirty great bass hit of the opening track 'Mirage' through to the final notes of 'No Way Through The Fog', the tone is dense and claustrophobic. These songs are dark, dirge driven fever dreams where waves of distorted guitars and morose low register vocals collude to create a palpable sense of paranoia and disorientation.

However, it’s not all doom and dread. Punctuating lighter moments such as the driving energy of 'Crane Of Foil' and the shimmering melancholy soundscapes of 'Alt Figure' and 'Scarlet' provide enough contrast to give the album’s dominant darker shades a greater weight. The overall effect is that Glass is simultaneously familiar and exciting. The album moves from serious post-rock angst to sad shoegaze introversion - but also pushes into lots of places in between. Dark places that are intriguing, disconcerting and satisfying to discover.


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