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Sunday, November 4, 2012

La Gran Perdida de Energia - Self Titled ALBUM REVIEW

"Gloom & Doom that's all I'm saying...
-Austin Lovelace"
This is the first album by the instrumental post-rock outfit who's name, I believe, translates to The Great Loss of Energy. While it is their first album, it's defiantly not their first time out the gate, though it does seem to be the first impression they would rather halve. The reason I say that is because, while there isn't a huge change in style, there is a pretty big change in presentation. In comparison with their first EP the production is much more ambitious, and much grander. They take the sound that they where showing off and focus it much more on the haunting elements of post-rock to assist the production in filling every bit of empty space.

I'll admit that I was on the fence with the EP and listening to it before the album didn't give me the highest expectations. When it comes to this album I'm still not getting it completely; I'm liking the improvements on the sounds they where already using but the production isn't making up for the uniqueness that they've lost because of it. A lot like Foster, who's first EP I gave a raving review, they focus a lot on an indy rock edge. There are a lot of melodies that almost remind me of indy rock kings like Grizzly Bear. A lot of the more catchy moments on that first EP even focused on a math rock influence from the popier side of bands like Band of Horses and Minus the Bear. Under the production that Volvemos en 10 Años had, I was hoping to hear more of their atmospheric side but now that it's the majority of what I'm getting, I'm missing their fun side.

In many ways they're an apposing force to a band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, while using a lot of similar techniques, they represent a much more optimistic side of post-rock. Where GY!BE soundtrack a post-apocalyptic, political, world Energia is more content with telling you when to relax and play. The opener, "El Mes del Viento", uses a lot of symbol crashing breaks and tremolo picking to create an environment that's easy to get lost in, something you would expect to soundtrack the most tense scene in a movie. That leads into the next track which has a surf feel but as soon as that goes out, it awkwardly transitions into something very similar to the first track. "DO!" has a very strong and cool melody but it repeats it through the whole song and just barley makes it out without decreasing the power the groove has. After about 1:00min the 4th track works into one of the coolest and most climactic grooves on the whole album, and it finishes with some tremolo picking that stops you from breathing, but the song still goes on for 7 more minuets of falling action. While you wait for moments like that everything else just feels like filler, filler that they avoided on their first EP. One of my favorite tracks, "De Los Que Viven Bajo el Agua", takes a while to get there, but it finishes with such a fun outro that I almost wanna dance to it, and the same goes for the intro to "Asia". I don't want this album to have to live up to an EP that's not as good but when they don't sound like they're having fun, they sound like they're stalling. When it feels like they're stalling, I can't say what they're doing anything unique, and those parts at many times on this album, awkwardly mix with the parts I love. That's the only difference from the first EP that isn't an improvement, making it the easiest to talk about, but it's a substantial change.

I understand that this review sounds negative, and while that is the perspective I have of this album compared to others in its genre, I want to make sure you know that I do like it. I enjoyed listening to this, and I can't rave more about how hauntingly beautiful the last track is (it should be on during the credits of Pirates of the Caribbean, it really should). Sadly, though, the best thing I can say about the parts I didn't like is "they do what other bands are doing, really well". I love every moment of this where I can picture a crowd dancing and the band jumping but for now I feel like they're still working out how they want all those sounds to work together. While I wasn't amazed by this album, I'm really excited to see what they do next.

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