When members of Grails, Slint, and Strike City come together, this is what ends up happening. Watter’s second album History of the Future is a great slab of American instrumental improvisation in a rock / post-rock milieu, with big chunks of synth too for good measure. The album even features extra guests from bands like Shipping News and Tortoise! On Temporary Residence.
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Drifting softly by is the new album from Watter, a post-y, proggy wonderland from this trio made up of one each from Grails, Slint and Strike City. If that isn’t enough names for you, they’re joined by a Tortoise folk and Rachel’s Grimes. There’s around 1000 instruments on this including the trusty mellotron so you know it’s gonna get a bit paisley in here.
Believe it or not, this is a band that can actually be trusted with the aforementioned styles of instrumental escapades, dialing down the cheez and up the filmic gestures. It’s quite a lot like Grails, with bits of Esmerine (circa Dalmak / La Lechuza) and Bossk mixed in for pretty good measure. Long, steady notes unfold over steady crescendos and slow drums (electronic or acoustic) to hark back to the glory days of 2009, when even the most twee of bands were injecting the post-rock into their sound. Market share and all that.
Bizarrely of all, 4th track ‘Sacrificial Self’ sounds like the 2nd half of the new The National track ‘Walk It Back’, same pace, same drifty chords, and that’s this album ruined for Ian forever. Serves him right for not being a National fan. I can hear them ripping them to shreds in the office right now. Anyway, there are a lot more synths here than I thought, with a synth loop either starting a track or introducing its climax but it’s ok because they’re using other instruments too. What am I even saying. You get the picture, it’s sweeping, it’s good.
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