Phonotonal
Let Airplanes Circle Overhead

Let Airplanes Circle Overhead
Eponymous LP

The problem with this whole post-hardcore, blisscore, post-rock, instrumental experimental (call it what you like) genre, is that while bands are quite within their rights to write cryptically named twelve-minute epics, often there just aren’t enough ideas to go around. Its a shame then that often this album falls foul of exactly this kind of problem.

The album opens (promisingly) in a hail of swirling feedback and jazzy drums which steadily pound away for over a minute before a circular arpeggio appears from the mist. From this exciting start however, the band seem to have kicked in the ‘repetition = impact’ button on pro-tools and the track meanders on for sometime before someone decides to throw in a bit of monster distortion to close the track.

Before long a pattern emerges throughout the album. While many of the tracks here (‘Rwanda’ and ‘-‘ in particular) could, with more work and a disciplined producer, become songs of real substance, too often they simply repeat, mantra-like, to their conclusion or flail around hopelessly in a splash pool of monster fuzz without ever really making their mark.

Instrumental rock is a notoriously difficult genre to write and halfway through you find yourself longing for something a little different to emerge from the mix. There is none of the playfulness of the Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, the sky scraping majesty of Redjetson or the sheer sonic impact of Explosions In The Sky.

I’m reliably informed by the press release that there are over 30 hours of improvised recordings currently burrowed away by the band for a rainy day, but it would nice to simply see the band head into the studio with a focussed producer who would be able to throw some extra tricks into the works. With this kind of influence onside I feel the bands impressive grasp of dynamics would really be able to shine and transform them into a real musical force to be reckoned with.

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