ARTIST: A Sudden Burst of Colour
RELEASE DATE: 01/07/16
RECORD COMPANY: Good Grief Records.
The ancient art of the four-track EP release is one that many bands practice throughout their artistic careers. On paper, the concept seems simple and smooth: you record four or five songs on an EP to avoid lengthy studio sessions/song writing efforts or you record all the songs you’ve got. The reason behind doing such all boils down to one thing musicians have in common; that they want to release something into the public sphere, something that one may reference them by. Bands forget however, that one song may not carry the weight of an entire EP (in a similar vein to bands who believe that one song can carry an entire album) and to put across a particular concept or sound, it is harder on an EP; for a band have limited space, obviously. But when meditated upon, planned and effort is placed within, an EP may be a fantastic and absorbing listen; even, perhaps, to the same standard as an album. And on A Sudden Burst of Colour’s latest EP, Ambivalence, the post-rock, alternative rock 4-piece have done exactly that, smoothing out and defining their sound in four lengthy, post-rock instrumental jams.
The EP begins with ‘The Fall’, a seven-minute epic piece of ambient post-rock guitar picking. With its airy and watershed soundscapes this track is one of the EPs greatest; evoking the white clouded/sunny heights that many instrumental alt-rockers aim to be. This is helped largely by the dreamy/reverb guitar that plays along with a melding and distant sound and the talented kick-orientated beat of the drums. At the two minute mark the sound drops into distance and then the track becomes something the band reiterate through the album; a stunning projection of an orchestral soundscape that builds and builds into a dream rock stream of consciousness. Never vast enough to be a complete math rock band, (although many will associate them with the genre, I believe they never reach for a math rock sound; something that swings in their favour) the band cease and begin again throughout the song while always skilfully reverting back to the opening soundscape and guitar strumming. This is followed by ‘Blind Obedience’, another-over five minute track that sees the band divulge in a similar sound, if not perhaps more ambient than the opener. Again, the band is guided with the intelligent swing and sway of the drums for the song, while the guitars bounce and float across the track; backed again by a mesmerizingly beautiful soundscape/orchestral sweep.
‘The One You Feed’ is perhaps the least intricate song on the EP, with the sound presented as less full, devoid minimally of the soaring and open strings and hum of the background; it is also much slower and perhaps easier on the ears for those seeking out meditative background music. Eventually, however, the song rises to largely electric heights; presenting another epic sounding backing for the song. The EP ends with ‘What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid’ which opens with the guitar placement at an almost rhythmic backseat to the drums and other instruments until the two minute mark, where the band dive back into a dream infused post-rock sound. Ultimately the song begins to include elements associated with prog-rock, drenched within the aesthetic of the dreamgaze/post-rock sound that bands like ‘Do Make Say Think’ practice; however, A Sudden Burst Of Colour inject their sound with more weighted backing (in synth/orchestra and soundscape).
The production on this EP is one to be rivalled; a majestic and thought-provoking sound for many to enjoy that showcases the fact that bands don’t need lyrics to bring their message across. The band present and reiterate a sound throughout the release, something that I believe many bands seek but do not always practice on the format of the EP. Obviously, the band is of high talent, with their song structures providing a more skilful take on the sometimes perhaps electroacoustic drone of some post-rock bands. And although the band divulge in their talents and the songs are brilliantly well written, some listeners may find the seven-minute feet’s of the songs just a little too heightened. Since post-rock is one of the few genres where listeners can immersive themselves completely into instrumental tracks, I believe that Ambivalence is at times too preaching in its audacity and heroism for complete artistic immersion. At times I became distracted and the music became background noise rather than the beautiful and trance confrontation of some post-rock/instrumental bands. Some instrumental bands release twenty five minute-plus songs that I and many others have being totally entranced by… However some of the songs on this EP began to wane in absorption. However, the sound and colour of this EP is substantially brilliant and I would commend the band completely for their talent and effort placed into this very branch of the EP. And I will say it again, there is some absolutely enthralling passages of music on this EP and as a complete package the band rises above many others to present a wholesomely fantastic release, courtesy of skill, talent and sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.