The Potomac Accord
It was just a couple years ago that The Potomac Accord dropped their debut release Silver Line On A Black Sea. A mixture of post-rock song structures that had instrumentation building on itself to huge crescendos and nice releases, the group tossed a unique wrinkle into things by including not only vocals but a piano and keyboard into their long songs.
In One-Hundred Years The Prize Will Be Forgotten keeps the formula much the same in terms of sonics, and while the release doesn't leap into any real new stylistic waters, it's no letdown either. The group has put together 6 tracks and 48 minutes of music, including a couple epic-length tracks that are worth the price of admission alone. One of these is the second track of "Sunset On The Empire," a song that stretches out a long first piano movement over deep bells before marching towards an exploding rhythm section. Just when you think the track is going to keep breaking loose, it changes directions completely, dropping off into a lovely piano coda that brings things down nicely.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that some of the best moments on the entire release are the places where the group builds things up ever so slightly right after breaking them down. By this point in the game, most people have heard enough post-rock crescendos to know when things are coming (even though they're mainly piano rather than guitar driven here), and while The Potomac Accord does a commendable job of building things to a frenzy, it's when they're coming back after the cooldown that they shine the most. The building, final three minutes of "The Empty Road" are easily the most glorious on the entire release. After a quiet section with a sample of French dialogue, the track marches heavenward with warm synths, chimes, and an ascending piano melody that all layer perfectly with a persuasive rhythm section.
As on the second track mentioned above, the group is at their best when the path to the destination is at the least obvious. The album closer of "Newly Fallen Century" runs nearly 12 minutes, but pulls back nicely on several occasions, only fully busting loose with just under 2 minutes to go (and then only for about 30 seconds). The almost tribal vocals are mixed more subtlely than on other tracks, and it's another album standout to close the release. A solid follow-up from this midwestern piano-driven post rock group.