In the last two years Justin Vernon became a household name of sorts. Firstly it was under the pseudonym Bon Iver. Secondly it was indie rock stardom, which is similar to being Brian Dennehy. Who while a great actor in his own right is generally left to do cameos and if you were to quote him at the dinner table most people would stare in a confused manner. So what we have here is the first foray of Vernon since breaking big as Bon Iver. Those who are familiar with his music as Bon Iver would have little comparison for Volcano Choir. While Vernon is made to be the leader of this group he is far from being the only contributor.
The main thing to note is that while there are some vocals on this record the operative word would be some. The vocals are kept away almost as a another instrument rather than being a focal point. There are definitely things that stick out about this record from the varied percussion (including clapping) to the smart use of distortion on the guitars. all of this makes for a well composed record that sits just fine along most post rock. there are the atmospheric harmonies and crashes that are fixtures in this genre. Nothing is too far from smoothly floating above the surface there are no leads there is additions slowly dissipating into the ether.
While for the most part I have made this sound wistful it is not entirely. There's nothing fantastical about what this record has to offer. everything fits nicely into its compartments and plays smoothly into the next song. Even when the instruments crash they tend not to crash very loudly. every with the storm there is an overriding sense of calm in the music. This all makes for pleasant listen,
Sadly the packaging I was given was incomplete although with an album such as this I am pretty happy to have it period. The cover art is interesting leaving much to the imagination while listening to the record itself. While this clearly marks the first most will hear from Vernon outside of his well known pseudonym it is certainly not what most will expect. It marks a pleasant foray into a different style done with class and a compelling attention to details. Everything about this is pleasant and calm meant to be enjoyed with headphones and no distractions.
9.0 / 10
Old school hardcore punk has really found its feet in the last few years. Bands like Creem, Raw Nerve and Violent Reaction have brought innovation to the scene by utilising lesser heard influences ranging from ...
My Dying Bride is over 20 years old. While most bands that would exist for this amount of time would notably mature in sound and style, it may be hard ...
Posted Aug. 12, 2009, 10:59 p.m.
Jagjaguwar Records has made the first song from Volcano Choir's new album Unmap available online. You can stream "Island, IS" here. The album is due out September 22nd.
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.