Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gregor Samsa - 55:12

Gregor Samsa
(2006, Kora Records)

Last years Gregor Samsa released 55:12 which happened to slip sleepily under the radar but to omit it recognition here would be criminal. The bands first legitimate full length after a bindle of EPs and a split release reminded me of my affection for post rock and slowcore (two genres that the band embodies) and provided an emblazoned hope for the future of that affection. The band doesn’t really tread any significantly new ground in the area, borrowing the instrumental leanings of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Rachels as well as (dual male and female) vocals that are as beautiful as forerunners like Idaho, Sigur Ros or anything like unto it. I suppose the area where Gregor Samsa succeeds while treading so much familiarity is by creating an album so meticulously gorgeous as to never make a misstep. The duration of the eight songs never once reveals anything beyond the search for triumphant beauty. "Even Numbers," the second track off the record, builds over the course of ten minutes, alternating vocalists and swelling with instrumental prowess before bowing out. This is meditative music that spans every mood in its 50+ minute duration. I think the band's Myspace page quotes it best: "Sounds like, slow and sad. Slow and happy. But never fast anything."

Mr. Thistle

Gregor Samsa – Young and Old

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