Written by: PP on 04/08/2010 17:18:08

Reviewing post-rock is usually an area exclusively reserved for my fellow scribe DR, but sometimes it's good to have a fresh perspective on the genre, methinks. FlyingDeadMan claim to play 'trip rock' on their press release, but while I can sense the occasional Massive Attack nuance raising its tiny head on the background, there's just no way I wouldn't classify their many eerie atmospheres as post-rock. "w.e.n" is their sophomore release, and it contains six seven, but beautiful post-rock tracks from two extremes of the genre: the quiet, soft, and the lulling, where the harmonies feel sleepy and dreamy, almost as if they're floating somewhere above the clouds, but also occasionally heavy, where crushing guitars bring a band like Team Sleep (Chino Moreno's side project) into mind. Oh, there are also three other tracks, but since they're just remixes of earlier tracks on the record, well, I'm not gonna count them.

Unlike most post-rock bands, FlyingDeadMan utilize lots of vocals throughout the album, although these are mostly faded to the background, giving an extra soft, dreamy layer behind the guitar harmonies. Great example can be found on "Sunday 12", where they feel almost ghostly on the background, while being just strong enough to make the song interesting. Then you have a track like "Black Sun", where the 'trip rock' of Massive Attack raises its head through effect-laden composition that should also remind you of Portugal. The Man's endless progression on their masterpiece on ambiance, "It's Complicated Being A Wizard EP". Curiously enough, the final track "Its" has some screamed vocals which add a nice, envy-like element of post-hardcore to the mixture. It's a shame these aren't exploited more, because they fit mighty well to FlyingDeadMan's soundscape.

I suppose I should throw in a word or two about the remixes too. The thing is, the originals work so well already that I don't think there's a need to add things like classical piano and thumping drums ("Sunday 12 Remix - The Noein"), or orchestral composition ("Black Sun Remix - 3tin"). I suppose for a fan of FlyingDeadMan these will be extra treats, but I'm in the school of thought that maybe they should've just released an EP instead.

In a nutshell, words like quiet, subtle, soft, eerie, beautiful and other such adjectives come into mind when listening to "w.e.n". That's why it's so refreshing that the band dares to go heavy occasionally, coming close to shattering the delicate soundscape in the mind of the listener. During these moments, I recall thinking about a slightly softer version of Deftones. Interesting, huh? I'm fairly certain that people who appreciate the experimentation found within bands like dredg, Idiot Pilot and why not Radiohead's most electronic, softest material, will find something to like here.

Download: Sunday 12, Black Sun
For the fans of: Team Sleep, Massive Attack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.02.2010

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