Rye Wolves – Oceans of Delicate Rain – 3.5/5
A largely instrumental piece, the more I listen the harder I find it to pin to a specific place. With a deep sludge basis, it combines a psychedelic post-rock structure and technical, fluid format, to yield a constantly varying pace, filled with crescendos, sudden transitions in tempo and bombastic crashing of instrumentation; it is a very apt album title. The coming and going of the tempo like the sloshing of waves crashing against you, the slow calm before the storm hits in all its fury, there is a constant tempo fluctuation with plenty of time signatures lending an erratic and unpredictable element that can rapidly change.
And its this incredible sense of motion that lends this album much of its strength, more than a well performed integration of tempos, this truly is fluid in its constantly changing manner, the unpredictability of frequent changes in bass, volume, tempo and aggression, each instrument changing instantaneously to lend a new feel to the passage at hand. With a thick prominent bass work engulfing you in a wall of sound, the panic-stricken guitars squealing over the top, with a touch of Albini-inspired noise rock added to the proceedings they add an additional layer interspersed at unconventional intervals, furthering the unpredictability of the passage.
The sparse vocals are rather monotonous but far enough back to allow the instrumentation to reign supreme, keeping up the chaotic fear-riddled tone, but none of the instrumentation feels as well performed as the overall composition; the manner each instrument works with each other, seamlessly shifting in styles is nothing short of remarkable, and lends itself to allow the listener to completely immerse themselves in the sound they have created.
Except perhaps they’ve succeeded all too thoroughly; the manner this album is constructed is effective enough that its not difficult to imagine yourself aboard a large sailing vessel, slowly crashing your way through a storm in the middle of the ocean, 20 foot high waves all around you. The guitars representing the overall mood of the crew, felt through the thick, bassy sloshing waves, whilst the captain barks orders to you and the other crew members, and everywhere you look there is nothing but more ocean. That’s the same here, as unpredictable as the turns are, you always know the next ones coming, and you know what its going to ultimately sound like before you’ve heard it. For all their variation it comes off a blur, each track sounding identical to that which came before it, and it can eventually become monotonous and tiring.