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...For And Acted Upon Through Diversions

Emery Reel
...For And Acted Upon Through Diversions
(First Flight Records)

These days, it's hard to be truly original in creating new music. Chances are, no matter what you lay to tape, someone will inevitably compare you to someone else. Even bands that pop out of the woodwork with something that sounds pretty damn unique often get molded with a crossbreed comparison, saying they sound like one group mixed with a little bit of another. I'm just as guilty as anyone else, and that's why my lazy ass is going to say that Emery Reel sounds something like Explosions In The Sky crossed with a touch of the louder Tristeza work.

In saying the above, though, I must also mention that it's nothing against the Emery Reel in comparing them to the above bands. Despite a somewhat unweildy title, ...For And Acted Upon Through Diversions is a pretty damn solid work, especially considering it's a debut release. Packaged in a lovely handmade chipboard package with a nice big transparency in the front (think Constellation Records), the seven songs on this disc rumble through just over 50 minutes of gorgeous guitar textures that sometimes rock you back and forth like a lullaby and sometimes rock you back and forth like the apocolypse is nigh. If you've listened to anything even as far back as Slint, you've probably heard something similar, but not every group that picks up a couple guitars and a drumset can pull it off this well.

The opening track of "They Are Cohercing Ideas Into The Mind" is nothing more than something to set the stage, as it slowly puffs out with billows of guitars, radio static and even a touch of horns. "A New Beginning" follows up properly, letting loose right from the start with an almost marching rhythm and chiming guitars that build to a quick crescendo before dropping off into a subdued, bass lead passage that very much takes its time in getting loud again, adding chimes as a layer before totally dropping off and finally storming back in the closing minutes. "Hence; Therefore, Again" packs another build into a much more compact time frame, opening with guitars and keyboards before closing with dual guitars and rumbling drums.

There's no real formula for most of the tracks, they simply work a mood for awhile and eventually find their way to some sort of release. Sometimes, the shift in dynamics is huge and sudden, and other times they take their time in reaching a glorious noise. The final track of "Uneasy, The Crossing Guard" chugs along for almost a third of its 15-minute runing time before dropping off into ambience, replete with field recordings and that touch of horns that barely escaped in the opening track of the release. Towards the closing, it comes back for one last blast, and the dense cacophany is a solid reminder that the group can rock out when they want. All in all, it's a fine release from a group with a fine sense of structure and sound. If you're into either of the bands mentioned above (especially EITS), I doubt you'll go wrong here.

Rating: 7.5