Post Harbor

They Can't Hurt You If You Don't Believe In Them

Written by: DR on 23/03/2010 12:35:47

It's not often you hear of bands that have set aside an entire year with the exclusive intention of writing and recording their sophomore album. This Seattle-based quintet did just that, and I feel they not only deserve kudos for such meticulosity and endeavour, but above all, for their clear intentions to create something spectacular. Hard work is commendable, as is being so passionate about what you're creating, but at the end of the day, diligence can only take you so far in what you're aiming to achieve. Thereafter, it's down to ability, flair and most importantly "it".

I've spent longer trying to wrap my head around this album than I do on 90% of the music I listen to. They have something about them, whether it is indeed that special "it" or something else entirely, but "They Can't Hurt You If You Don't Believe In Them" draws you in. On the surface, it seems like many other post-rock releases I've heard in the past and will hear in the future: the ambience, that one guitar afforded creativity to try and create a crescendo remotely creative, the sudden quiet serenity to... wait for it... LOUD explosions, to the appearance of which that one guitar starts to ring, soar and crash noisily - and all that's just the first two songs.

After a few passing listens I really began to soak it all in, in fact it was right about the three-minute mark of "Shirakashi", when the electronica-masked vocals stop, and the instrumentation demonstrates rackety post-rock in a superb, albeit typical manner. The vocals are a common fixture throughout, built upon indie musicianship that suggests this band have been influenced by Sunny Day Real Estate, no less. Towards the end of the album, the band deviates slightly from the "post" in search of a more "rock" orientated sound. "Augustine" brings Thrice's "Night Diving" to mind, whilst "Caves, Hollow Trees And Other Dwellings" could have been wrote by a supergroup consisting of members from Death Cab For Cutie and Caspian.

However, sometimes it's too apparent that they are trying to deliberately incorporate something a bit different into their music in order to cross genres and defy pigeon-holing. This means it sounds familiar enough for it to be engaging yet alienating enough that it becomes a challenging listen. You could, quite easily, listen to this album, appreciating it, becoming moved by it, but when the final track "Intro" finishes, realising there aren't quite enough of those all important "wow" moments.

Download: Shirakashi; Alia's Fine; Caves, Hollow Trees And Other Dwellings
For The Fans of: Caspian; Moving Mountains; The Appleseed Cast
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 23.02.2010
Burning Building Recordings

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