Tuesday, September 30, 2014

San Angelus - Soon We'll All Be Ghosts (2014, Arctic Rodeo/Amber & Wool) - A brief overview

Given their antecedents in considerably more intense precursors like Shift, Pelican and Sparkmarker, (among others) the four piece San Angelus are of fairly esteemed, not to mention concussive stock. Fear not, as there's no bludgeoning agenda here.  To the contrary, on their two-years in the making debut San Angelus manage to keep Soon We'll All Be Ghosts at a rolling boil, not a frenzied fever pitch.  Hinting at the likes of No Knife, Rival Schools and Failure, there's a sonically nimble post-hardcore modus operandi at play here, eschewing any semblance of an emo crutch.  Slyly cerebral, S/A adhere to an austere subtext and temperament, while exuding an inviting, nuanced glow that compels any eyes and ears that pass over it.  More than a few notable highlights abound, commencing with the powerful opening salvo, "One Hand on the Wheel" demonstrating the quartet's dextrously tuneful and textured musculature.  From there it's onto "Splitting Differences," loaded with delightfully mathy arpeggios.  The churning "All Bets on the Slow Kid" is a vigorous rocker with ironic bite, and "Without You" is the finest example of S/A's heightened melodic prowess heretofore.  Dare I refer to this album as a slowly revealing embarrassment of riches?
Complimenting the deluxe vinyl edition of ...Ghosts is a DVD containing videos for all twelve album tracks. In actuality, they're (mostly) unedited single frame shots in outdoor settings, but they manage to dovetail appropriately with the pensive nature of the music they accompany.  This particular incarnation of the record is available via Arctic Rodeo as a European import.  An even more limited edition of Ghosts has been printed up in excruciatingly small quantities on CD, and comes housed in sharp, industrial strength packaging.  Check it out at Amber & Wool.   Thus far, the album is not available digitally, but you can partake in some of the aforementioned videos via San Angelus' YouTube playlist below.

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